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The Crucifixion of Saint Peter

This dramatic scene depicts the crucifixion of Saint Peter, one of the twelve Apostles and the first Bishop of Rome. This is suggested by the figure to the left holding a key, a traditional symbol of Saint Peter. His execution was ordered by the Roman Emperor Nero, who blamed the city’s Christians for a terrible fire that had ravaged Rome. Peter requested to be crucified upside down, as he felt unworthy to die in the same manner as Christ. 

Antolínez captures Peter’s vulnerability, depicting him as almost naked, thin and frail. Peter is bound to the cross rather than nailed to it and three figures heave it into position. Despite the tense nature of the scene, the crowd surrounding Peter seem largely indifferent 

Currently on display

Artist
José Antolínez
Date
1660
Location
Gallery 1
Dimensions
110.5 x 83.8 cm
Materials
Oil on canvas
Acquisition
Bourgeois Bequest, 1811
Accession number
DPG069