Crucifixion of St Peter, 1604-1605
oil on wood
cm. 305 x 171
The Crucifixion of St Peter, commissioned by Cardinal Pietro Aldobrandini for S. Paolo alle Tre Fontane, marked the first Roman success of Guido Reni, who painted it in 1604-1605. Transferred to the Pontifical Palace of the Quirinal ( circa 1787), it was brought to Paris in 1797, and, after its return, became part of the Picture Gallery of Pius VII in 1819.
As soon as he arrived in Rome, the Bolognese artist approached the new revolutionary ideas of Caravaggio's painting, which, from their first appearance, had decidedly influenced the artistic life of the city. This influence is clear in the Crucifixion of St Peter, which is inspired by the same subject already dealt with by Caravaggio in the painting for the church of S. Maria del Popolo, with respect to which however the high dramatic tension is lessened.