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The parting of St Peter and St Paul led to matyrdom
17th Century
The parting of St Peter and St Paul led to matyrdom
[I Santi Pietro e Paolo sulla via del martirio]
Oil on canvas
144 x 220 cm  [HxW]
Galleria Nazionale di Arte Antica di Palazzo Barberini, Roma

Giovanni Serodine was a Roman painter and stuccoist (maker of plaster architectural decorations). In this work Serodine’s strong contrast of light and shadow and the bright red of St Paul’s clothing add drama to the scene as the two apostles clench hands and knowingly face martyrdom. The figures modelled on humble peasants are overwhelmingly physical and recall the work of Caravaggio. Although his forcefully naturalistic style conflicted with the predominantly classicising tendencies of Roman art in the 1620s Serodine continued to win many official commissions.

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