Finding the bodies of Saints Peter and Paul
- Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione (Il Grechetto) (Italian, Genoa 1609–1664 Mantua)
- Sheet: 11 13/16 × 8 1/8 in. (30 × 20.7 cm)
- Credit Line:
- Gift of Bertina Suida Manning and Robert L. Manning, 1979
- Accession Number:
Many of Castiglione’s works address the transience of earthly endeavors, death, and decay. One of the most innovative printmakers of his time, he was strongly influenced by Rembrandt’s prints and their tenebrism (from tenebroso, suggesting darkness). He even sought out religious subjects that would be enhanced by a gloomy setting, such as this example, which depicts the vault on the Appian Way outside Rome where the bodies of the two martyred saints were hidden. Here, a group of men stumble into the vault, almost clinging to one another in fear. In the lower left, we see a headless Saint Paul and Saint Peter, still clutching his keys, illuminated by the light of a single torch.