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The Denial of Peter

The Denial of Peter

c. 1624–28

Peter Wtewael

(Dutch, 1596–1660)

Oil on wood

Framed: 43.8 x 61 x 6.4 cm (17 1/4 x 24 x 2 1/2 in.); Unframed: 28 x 45.5 cm (11 x 17 15/16 in.); Former: 42 x 59.5 x 6.5 cm (16 9/16 x 23 7/16 x 2 9/16 in.)

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Noah L. Butkin 1972.169



Wtewael depicted the moment after the Last Supper when the apostle Peter (at the left) denied knowing Jesus in order to protect himself from Roman soldiers searching for Christ's followers. Few works by this artist are known, and he draws on an unusual combination of styles. The dramatic use of light derives from Dutch followers of the Italian painter Caravaggio, in vogue around 1625, while the twisting bodies, startlingly low viewpoint, and tight detailing come from a more refined, courtly mode more popular earlier in the century.

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