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ST PETER APOSTLE RECEIVES THE KEYS

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Description

ST PETER APOSTLE RECEIVES THE KEYS Italy, Rome, San Michele a Ripa, c. mid 18th century
Tapestry, wool and silk
10 warps per cm (25 per in)
H. 153 cm, W. 84 cm (5 ft 1 in x 2 ft 9 in), oval.

As yet a prototype completely corresponding to this depiction of the apostle has not been identified in painting. However there are some iconographic similarities, deserving attention, with the figure of St Peter in two paintings: the Repentance of Peter by Guido Reni (Galleria di Palazzo Pitti, Florence) and the Fall of Simon Magus by Pompeo Batoni (Santa Maria Degli Angeli, Rome). Batoni began his work in 1746 for San Pietro in Vaticano, where the painting was displayed on Easter 1755. The solemn expression stresses the references to the painting of Raphael and of Bolognese artists Carracci and Reni. St Peter is represented on the left, specularly to our example and presents close analogies with it reflecting the period of collaboration between the artist and the manufactory of San Michele. Batoni also provided the cartoons for a precious three-piece set with scenes from the life of St Peter for Pope Benedict XIV. The set was woven by Pietro Ferloni between 1742-1746 for the cathedral of San Pietro in Bologna, where it is still housed.
Together with the accurate make of the tapestry, all these references suggest to date it to the period when the manufacture was directed by Pietro Ferloni, from 1717 to 1770, and more accurately to the years around the middle of the century.