Peter, leader of the twelve apostles, is commonly depicted holding keys. This symbolizes the biblical passage Matthew 16:18-19, when Christ tells Peter “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of Heaven.” This painting was probably part of a polyptych (multi-paneled altarpiece). Another painting by Zenale that was likely part of the same altarpiece is St. Michael the Archangel. Based on the sharp angle of perspective of the architectural niche and the foreshortened figures, both paintings were meant to be seen from below and were therefore probably placed in the upper zones of the altarpiece.
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- Titles Saint Peter the Apostle (Proper)
- Artist Bernardino Zenale, Italy, Treviglio ca. 1464 - 1526 Milan
- Medium oil on panel
- Dimensions 31 1/4 x 16 1/4 in. (79.4 x 41.3 cm) frame: 37 3/4 × 22 1/2 × 4 in. (95.9 × 57.2 × 10.2 cm)
- Credit Line Gift of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, 1961.111
- Work Type painting
- Classification Paintings
- On View
- Signature None
- Marks None
- Inscription Verso, down cradle slat, black crayon: #9395.F. Backing board, center top, black stamp: 1115 Backing board, center top, black marker: B.M.A.61.111 Backing board, center top, white chalk: NG477 / Gal 21 Backing board, bottom left, black marker on red sticker: 12-5-83 Backing board, bottom center, black stamp: 1115 Backing board, bottom center, graphite: 1115 Backing board, bottom center, graphite on sticker with red boarder: [illegible] / 1115 Backing board, bottom right, typed label: NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART / WASHINGTON, D.C. / NO. 477 / YEAR 1939 / ARTIST Civerchio, Vincenzo / TITLE SAINT PETER Backing board, bottom right, white chalk: N[covered by previous label]7
- Provenance With Count Alessandro Contini-Bonacossi (1878-1955), Florence [see note 1]; purchased by Samuel H. Kress (1863-1955), New York, June 16, 1937; gift to the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1939, deaccessioned,1952; returned to the Samuel H. Kress Foundation; on loan to the Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama, 1952; gift to the Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama, 1961
1. Fern Rusk Shapley, Paintings from the Samuel H. Kress Collection, Italian Schools XV-XVI Century (London: Phaidon Press, 1968), p. 17.