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Saint Peter
Juanes, Juan de (Vicente Juan Masip)
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Juanes, Juan de (Vicente Juan Masip)

Fuente la Higuera, Valencia, 1503 - Bocairente, Valencia, 1579

Juanes, Juan de (Vicente Juan Masip) See author's file

Saint Peter

1536 - 1538. Oil on panel.
Room 051

This work´s existence and interest were noticed by Valencian specialist and director of that city´s Museum of Fine Arts, Fernando Benito Domenech. That museum´s Juan de Juanes exhibition in 2000 included this panel and convincingly related it to the Saint Eligius Altarpiece, which the Valencian Silversmiths´ Guild had commissioned for the church of Santa Catalina in 1534. That contract called for the participation of Vicente Macip and his son, Juan de Juanes, who actually painted this group of works. This is Juanes´ earliest documented commission and it marks an especially interesting moment in his career.

In 1584, the Saint Eligius Altarpiece was seriously damaged by fire. In 1607, Francisco Ribalta began an overall reconstruction that affected all but four of the original panels. These four were excluded from the reconstructed work and are now scattered among different collections. The Last Supper, which is thought to be the original predella´s central work, is now at the Museum of Saint Pius V; the Consecration of St. Eligius as Bishop of Nayon is at the University of Arizona (Samuel H. Kress Foundation) and Christ Carrying the Cross became a part of Spain´s Royal Collections, later entering the Museo del Prado (P849).

The style, character and technique of the Prado´s Saint Peter led Professor Benito Domenech to hypothesize that it was one of the full-length figures that originally appeared on that altarpiece, and that idea is shared by José Gómez Frechina. Saint Peter´s dour, concentrated expression is revealingly characteristic of Juanes´s work from the mid 1530s and his model recalls the physical traits of the Saint Peter in the Last Supper at the Saint Pius Museum in Valencia, which the artist softened in later works. Moreover, the apostle´s head, which is impressively wrought and intensely expressive, is clearly linked to other works by Juan de Juanes. For example: the Saint Peter in the Last Supper at the parish of San Pedro Mártir y San Nicolás Obispo in Valencia, which dates from around 1545; as well as the panel of The Apostles from the Retable of the Trinity, at the same parish.

The work´s pictorial construction is also characteristic of the artist´s work from those dates, including the severe style of the figure, the sgraffito and gilded background similar to those found in tabernacles and pieces used in the eucharist, which are still linked to elements from Juanes´s early works. The frame is modern. It imitates a Spanish cassetta with a flat central molding whose red color harmonizes with the reddish tone of the gilt´s base.

Ruiz, L, 'Juan de Juanes 'San Pedro'' En: Memoria de actividades 2014, Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2015, p.32-34

Technical data

Inventory number
Juanes, Juan de (Vicente Juan Masip)
Saint Peter
1536 - 1538
Height: 88 cm; Width: 40 cm
Acquired by the Prado Museum from Subastas Durán, Madrid, 2014

Bibliography +

Juan de Juanes Una visión del artista y su obra, Valencia, 2000, pp. 44-47.

Puig, I., Company, X.Tolosa, L., El pintor Joan de Joanes y su entorno familiar. Los Macip a través de las fuentes literarias y la documentación de archivo, Universitat de Lleida, CAEM,, 2015, pp. 104-109 doc.7,56,60, 66, 68, 69, 72-77,92,95, 97-99, 101-103, 105..

Ruiz, L, 'Juan de Juanes 'San Pedro'' En: Memoria de actividades 2014, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2015, pp. 32-34.

Other inventories +

Inv. Nuevas Adquisiciones (iniciado en 1856). Núm. 2895.

Location +

Room 051 (On Display)

Update date: 05-11-2021 | Registry created on 01-09-2015

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