Returned to lender The Met accepts temporary loans of art both for short-term exhibitions and for long-term display in its galleries.

Martyrdom of Saints Processus and Martinian

Valentin de Boulogne French

Not on view

Two former soldiers are put on the rack for having been converted to Christianity by Saints Peter and Paul. The figure at the upper right is their commander, blinded in one eye by God after he urged the soldiers to offer a sacrifice to Jupiter. A hooded Christian woman, Lucina, encourages them to be steadfast; and an angel literally tumbles out of heaven with a palm of martyrdom. Painted for Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome, this is Valentin’s most prestigious commission. Together with an altarpiece by his compatriot Nicolas Poussin, it became the focus of a debate about the virtues of an idealist as opposed to a realist style. We are told that connoisseurs judged them equal. In this work, Valentin succeeds in giving a realist style the authority of Renaissance and classical art.

#320. Martyrdom of Saints Processus and Martinian

Martyrdom of Saints Processus and Martinian, Valentin de Boulogne (French, Coulommiers-en-Brie 1591–1632 Rome), Oil on canvas

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.