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Pere Lembrí

The Deposition of Saint Peter


Pere Lembrí
Active in Morella, Spain, in 1399, died in Tortosa, Spain, in 1421


The Deposition of Saint Peter


About 1410-1415


Tempera on wood


90.2 x 62.2 cm


Purchase, Horsley and Annie Townsend Bequest, inv. 1958.1196


Western Art

This painting reflects Catalan Gothic taste. Characterizes by dramatic narrative with a powerful emotional focus, bold colours and a lively rhythm, it was particularly influenced by the art of Sienna. Lembrí seems to have had a prominent role as a painter. This panel was part of a retablo (altarpiece) dedicated to the life of Saint Peter. It originally would have been composed of over twenty panels. The subject of the Museum’s panel derives from the Golden Legend, a mid-thirteenth century compendium of the life stories of saints and Christian Martyrs by Jacobus de Voragine, a Dominican and archbishop of Genoa. Much consulted in the Occident, the Golden Legend explains that Peter and Paul were arrested under the emperor Nero, judged by the prefect Agrippa, and separated. Paul, as a Roman citizen, was beheaded, while Peter was crucified—upside down in humility at his request—and his body taken down from the cross, embalmed and buried by his disciples Marcellus and Apuleius. These two figures appear with nimbuses in the painting, while the throne at left alludes to Nero or Agrippa (possibly the figures at left).

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