Object Image

Saint Peter Martyr

This priest - whose hair has been shaved, or tonsured - once stood on the right side of a small altarpiece which Crivelli painted for the church of San Domenico, in Ascoli Piceno, in the Italian Marche. He is Saint Peter Martyr, the second saint of the Dominican Order, and their first martyr.

The falcastro, a long-handled curved knife, with which he was murdered, splits his skull, and a second dagger is buried in his shoulder. His black and white robes stand out powerfully against the burnished gold ground. Crivelli's skill as a painter of drapery is such that although Peter's robes are black we can see the deep folds where his hood and cloak fall around his shoulders, and the creases in the t...

c. 1476
Tempera on poplar
90.5 x 26.5cm
Image and text © The National Gallery, London, 2024

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