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The Denial of St Peter

Tempera and gold on gesso, on carved lime wood panel.

The subject illustrates an event described in all four gospels (Matthew 26:69–75; Mark 14:66–72; Luke 22:55–62; John 18:17–18, 25–27). When Christ was arrested, Peter followed him into the courtyard of the High Priest’s palace where servants and officers stood warming themselves against the cold around a coal fire. And Peter stood with them to warm himself. There he was confronted on three separate occasions and accused of being a disciple of Jesus. Peter denied each and in so doing fulfilled Christ's prophecy that before the cock crowed twice he would deny him thrice. And Peter remembering the words of the Lord, went out, and wept bitterly.

Despite the emphasis given to the event by all four evangelists, this appears to be the only recorded representation of this theme in icon painting.

Byzantine provincial work

Height: 24 cm
Width: 16.5 cm

Private collection Bucharest (bears a Romanian export stamp on the back and is accompanied by an export document)
Acquired by AXIA in London in 2009