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Penitent Saint Peter

A work made of oil on canvas.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of oil on canvas.




Jusepe de Ribera
Spanish, 1588–1652

About this artwork

Emerging from darkness into a blaze of light falling from heaven, Saint Peter’s enraptured upward expression and gesture here suggest a moment of spiritual dialogue as he grapples with his bitter remorse for having denied that he is a follower of Christ.

Jusepe de Ribera was born near Valencia, Spain, but worked in Italy, in Rome from about 1612 until 1613, when the influence of the painter Caravaggio was at its height, then in Naples from 1616. In Naples, which was then under Spanish rule, he enjoyed the patronage of successive Spanish viceroys, producing altarpieces and paintings of classical subjects and expressive single figures like the one seen here, so lifelike in their conception that they appear to be portraits of their historical or religious subjects.


On View, Gallery 211


Painting and Sculpture of Europe


Jusepe de Ribera


Penitent Saint Peter


Spain (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Oil on canvas


"Jusepe de Rib/espanol F"


126.5 × 97 cm (49 3/4 × 38 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

Mrs. Goldabelle Macomb Finn Fund, with additional support from friends of the European Painting Department, Mrs. James W. Alsdorf, Mrs. Edward McCormick Blair, Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Gidwitz, Josephine and John J. Louis, Jr., the Otto L. and Hazel T. Rhoades Fund and Mrs. George B. Young; L.L. A.S. Coburn Endowment

Reference Number


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