Saturday, February 27, 2010

St Peter in Penitence

Title: St Peter in Penitence

Artist: El Greco

Medium: Oil on canvas

Size: 102 x 84 cm

Date: c. 1605

Location: Hospital Tavera, Toledo.

Mark 14:72 Immediately the rooster crowed the second time. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken to him: "Before the rooster crows twice you will disown me three times." And he broke down and wept.

Here, Christians can take solace in the knowledge there is hope of forgiveness and repentance for us all. Peter is the example, who upon realization of what he had done, “broke down and wept”. Had Judas broke down and wept, and repented, he too would have been forgiven. To reinforce this point, it should be noted that Judas never appears in the Gospel of Mark again, whereas Peter does in Mark 16:7.

In this painting Peter raises his tear-filled eyes to Heaven, his hands joined in prayer. This is one of the late versions of a subject El Greco painted in at least six different autograph variants (several of which gave rise to studio copies) over the course of his career in Spain.

Domenikos Theotokopoulos, known as El Greco (1541 – April 7, 1614) was a painter, sculptor, and architect, considered one of the greatest of the Spanish School. The Cretan-born artist always acknowledged his origin, signing his works with his given name in Greek characters. Though his dramatic and expressionistic style was not met with the universal approval of his contemporaries, his work found greater appreciation in beginning of the 20th century.

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