Saint Peter. Line engraving by M. Pitteri after G.B. Piazzetta.

  • Piazzetta, Giovanni Battista, 1682-1754.
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Saint Peter. Line engraving by M. Pitteri after G.B. Piazzetta. Wellcome Collection. Public Domain Mark. Source: Wellcome Collection.

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About this work


A fisherman on the lake of Genezareth in Galilee, Saint Peter was, with his brother Andrew, the first of the Apostles. His name was Simon; he was renamed Peter (Kephas in Aramaic, Petros in Greek) by Jesus to indicate that he would be the cornerstone (petra) of the Church. Often depicted with one or two keys, representing his role as gatekeeper of heaven. In the Middle Ages he was invoked against fevers, bouts of madness and snake-bite. Because Peter had put to flight the dogs sent against him by Simon the Magus (in the apocryphal Acts of Peter), hot keys called "the key of St. Peter" (clef de Saint Pierre) were applied to dogs and ther owners to protect them from rabies



Physical description

1 print


Sanctus Petrus Joannes Bapt. Piazzetta pinxit. Marcus Pitteri sculpsit. I


One of sixteen prints after "Fifteen heads of the most renowned drawings of Giambattista Piazzetta" and one of Saint Paul. In an official application of 1742 the engraver Marco Pitteri referred to them as "Quindici teste delli più rinomati dissegni di Giambatta Piazzetta". In response the Venetian Senate stipulated "che l'incisione stessa sia di sacre imagini' --Halwas, loc. cit. The prints of the twelve Apostles bear a serial number in Roman numerals after the engraver's name; the four prints of God, Christ the Redeemer, the Virgin, and Saint Paul bear no number

References note

Adriano Mariuz, L'opera completa del Piazzetta, Milan 1982, p. 113, no. 170
Robin Halwas, 'An album of thirty-six prints reproducing paintings and drawings by Piazzetta, engraved by Giovanni Cattini or Marco Pitteri', (accessed 2 April 2018)


Wellcome Collection 6771i



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