Bernardo Strozzi, The Incredulity of Saint Thomas Compton Verney House Trust (89 x 98 cm)
Strozzi's picture testifies to the Baroque interest in Christ's wounds. Referring to John 20,25ff. Strozzi focuses on the crucial moment, when Thomas gingerly pushes his finger into the wound in Christ's side. This intimate scene observed by two other sun-tanned and bald-headed men has highly erotic connotations: in stark contrast to the ungainly masculinity of the apostles, Christ's radiantly white body shows not only traits of feminine delicacy; the wound which Christ assists Thomas to penetrate is symbolically associated with the vagina. Christ's loving relationship with incredulous man is thus conceived of as very physical and sensual.