The Denial of Saint Peter

Caravaggio (Michelangelo Merisi) Italian

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 620

Caravaggio’s late works, painted in Naples, depend for their dramatic effect on brightly lit areas standing in contrast to nearly black backgrounds. This painting, a marvel of narrative concision, was painted in the last months of Caravaggio’s life and marks an extreme stage in his revolutionary style. Standing before a fireplace, Peter is accused of being a follower of Jesus. The pointing finger of the soldier and two fingers of the woman allude to the three accusations and to Peter’s three denials. In 1613 this painting belonged to the artist Guido Reni, who received it from the engraver Luca Ciamberlano as compensation for debts.

#5084. The Denial of Saint Peter

The Denial of Saint Peter, Caravaggio (Michelangelo Merisi) (Italian, Milan or Caravaggio 1571–1610 Porto Ercole), Oil on canvas

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