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ID number:  BIRBI-57.5
Institution:  The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Artist / Maker:  Castiglione, Giovanni Benedetto (c. 1610-1663/5)
Title / Object name:  The discovery of the bodies of SS. Peter and Paul
Object type:  Print
Place made:  Europe: Italy, Rome
Culture:  Italian
Date made:  1645-51
Materials:  Etching
Measurements:  Plate: 300 x 206 mm; mount: 557 x 404 mm
Provenance:  Purchased from Craddock & Barnard, November 1957, for £3
BIRBI-57.5.jpg

In a dark catacomb beneath the Via Appia in Rome, the bodies of two Christian martyrs are discovered. Huddled together in fear, a group of travellers shine a single torch to illuminate the figures of Saints Peter and Paul. Saint Paul lies headless. The early follower of Christ was executed by the Romans for his Christian faith. Saint Peters lies alongside, holding the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven – a symbol of Peter’s role as the first Roman Catholic pope. Castiglione was drawn to the depiction of rare religious subjects. This etching reveals the influence of Rembrandt’s tonal prints such as The Death of the Virgin, also in the Barber's collection.

1 Related People

Castiglione, Giovanni Benedetto
Italian
1609
1664
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