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Denial of Saint Peter

Jusepe de Ribera (called Lo Spagnoletto) Spanish

Not on view

A soldiers’ game of dice is interrupted when a maid accuses the apostle Peter of being a disciple of Christ. Fearful of the consequences, Peter denies his Lord.

The Spaniard Ribera was the most important protagonist of the new naturalism following Caravaggio’s death in 1610, and this is the work that most impressed contemporaries, including Valentin. Here, the sacred and the profane exist side by side. Ribera contrasts figures absorbed in their game with another who looks out of the picture, making the viewer complicit. The comically bald man wearing a minuscule beret modeled for other artists as well.

Denial of Saint Peter, Jusepe de Ribera (called Lo Spagnoletto) (Spanish, Játiva 1591–1652 Naples)

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