Saint Ambrose barring Theodosius from Milan Cathedral

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Anthonis van Dyck 005.jpg

Saint Ambrose barring Theodosius from Milan Cathedral is a 1619–1620 painting by Anthony van Dyck, now in the National Gallery in London.

It draws heavily on a 1618 version of the same subject by Rubens which van Dyck had worked on as a studio assistant. In van Dyck's version, Theodosius is beardless, the architectural background is more defined and a spear and a halberd are added on the left-hand side.

It shows the Roman emperor Theodosius I and his entourage being barred from Milan Cathedral by its archbishop Saint Ambrose, as punishment for the Massacre of Thessalonica.



  • Gian Pietro Bellori, Vite de' pittori, scultori e architecti moderni, Torino, Einaudi, 1976.
  • Didier Bodart, Van Dyck, Prato, Giunti, 1997.
  • Christopher Brown, Van Dyck 1599–1641, Milano, RCS Libri, 1999.ISBN 8817860603
  • Justus Müller Hofstede, Van Dyck, Milano, Rizzoli/Skira, 2004.
  • Stefano Zuffi, Il Barocco, Verona, Mondadori, 2004.