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Savolini, Cristoforo
St. Peter St. Peter
1670s 1670s

A robust old man with puffy features leans toward the viewer and a little to the right, as he holds up a large key in both hands to the left. His pose, extended finger and knitted eyebrows lend an active quality to his presentation, giving it emotional and rhetorical emphasis. The key is the figure’s attribute, identifying him as St. Peter, according to the charge given him by Jesus in Matthew 16:19, upon which rests the authority of the papacy: “And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Peter’s features, with full beard and bald pate, follow tradition, based on the forceful character of the leader of Jesus’s disciples, as projected in the Gospels. However, there appears to be a melancholy in the wide, moist eyes, which may allude to Peter’s deep regret at denying Jesus three times after his arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane. Set in a painted oval, the figure appears to be painted di sotto in su, to be seen from below, likely as part of a series of Apostles.

 
Savolini, Cristoforo
Cesena, Italy 1639–Pesaro, Italy 1677 Cesena, Italy 1639–Pesaro, Italy 1677
St. Peter St. Peter
1670s 1670s
Oil on canvas Oil on canvas
height / width: 121.50 x 100.50 cm; 47.83 x 39.57 in.
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Alfred Bader, 1980 Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Alfred Bader, 1980
23-041

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