Saint Paul shipwrecked in the Noel Shaw Gallery

One of the more creative themes in the current exhibition in the Noel Shaw Gallery, Plotting the island: Dreams, discovery and disaster, relates to St Paul on Malta. When the exhibition was under development, curator Kerrianne Stone was keen to include objects which represented both the classical and biblical inspirations for the many voyages of exploration launched through the 15th to 18th centuries.

The Prophet Paul’s story features a shipwreck that occurred in the Mediterranean. Shipwrecks are one of the dramatic subjects in the exhibition, and St Paul is well-represented in the Print Collection, University Library, thus the availability of visual documents was one of the several reasons to include it. A snippet of information, read in passing by Kerrianne, suggested that the earliest recorded shipwreck is found in the Old Testament. The validity of this idea and its correlating obscure wreck was superseded in the exhibition by the intriguing narrative in the New Testament account by Luke in the Book of Acts. More

Artwork: Shipwreck of St. Paul on the Isle of Malta, 1729

Image: Jan Luyken, Shipwreck of St. Paul on the Isle of Malta, 1729. Baillieu Library Print Collection, University of Melbourne. Gift of Dr J. Orde Poynton 1959