Denial of St Peter


"Denial of St Peter" (36 x 48 in. framed. Oil on canvas). This is a copy of Caravaggio's original, which hangs at the Metropolitan in NYC. Copying the masters is a bit like an archaeological dig.  A clue here, a hint there.  Helps to know a bit of the circumstances surrounding the artist at the time he was conceiving and creating this work.  He was handsome, although some think he suffered a deforming injury about a year prior to painting "Denial".  He was flamboyant, on record as carrying a sword and using it more than once. "Denial" was painted just prior to Caravaggio's mysterious death at the age of 38.  The scene is the night Jesus was arrested, in the courtyard of the high priest.  Earlier that night Peter had cut off the ear of the leader of the temple guard.  One of the man's relatives spotted Peter in the crowd and attenpted to have him arrested.  The scene shows three fingers being pointed at Peter, representing the three times Peter denied his Lord.  This copy varies from the original in that the young woman is more attractive than in the original.  That the artist had run-ins with church leadership, with the Templars, and other influential religious organizations is well documented.  Were the papal police responsible for the artist's death?  Unknown.  I find it sooooo interesting however, that one of his last paintings shows the first pope being interrogated by the papal police.  The painting is for sale.  No copies are available.