The tears of St Pierre, French school of the 18th century after Guido Reni
Important oil on canvas in oval shape representing the tears of St Peter *.
Recognizable by his slightly curly hair surrounding his tonsure which recalls that he was the first of the Christian priests, he is dressed in his ocher-colored pallium (large woolly coat) strung over a blue garment.
He is shown with hands joined in the penance position.
This position, just like the tears from his eyes and his gaze towards the sky symbolize his repentance for having denied Christ.
Canvas, frame and original frame in golden oak wood.
Small custom restorations.
Perfect condition, French work around 1700 after St Pierre by Guido Reni kept at the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg.
Although we cannot attribute it with certainty our work is to be compared to the St Pierre painted by Hyacinthe Rigaud in 1702 and preserved at the Rigaud museum in Perpignan. * (Inv 96-1-1)
Canvas: Height: 90 cm; Width: 80 cm
Frame: Height: 110 cm, Width: 100 cm
* In the 17th century, we are in the midst of a war of religion between Protestants and Catholics. One of the main discords is that of the Sacrament. The Protestants reject the Sacrament of Penance and end up giving only the symbolic value to the Sacrament of the Eucharist. Judging the confession useless, he considered baptism as a true Sacrament of Penance, so the fisherman was forgiven by the very act of his baptism. to have denied his master three times was an image of the confession, but the Protestants objected that he had not confessed his fault to Jesus Christ since the latter already knew her and only had to atone for her with tears. Saint Peter then decided to stop fishing.
Catholic theologians established by many arguments the need for confession, thus explaining the need for artists to represent the confession in the guise of Saint Peter.
The repentance of Saint Peter therefore becomes, for Christian piety, a subject of meditation. It was said that Saint Peter had wept for his fault every day of his life by having "bloodshot eyes" continuously. It was added that at night, as soon as he heard the rooster's field, he got up to shed tears. The sermonnaires celebrated his penance and the poets sang it. Trosillo in Italy and Malherbe in France wrote on the Tears of Saint Peter.
This explains why the artists so often represented the repentance of Saint Peter at the end of the 16th century.
Our opinion :
The painting we are presenting is undoubtedly inspired by the tears of St Peter painted in 1657 by Guido Reni, and which is today preserved in the Hermitage Museum of St Petersburg.
But we do not find the same colors of flesh and tissue, nor the same emaciated face or wrinkles present on the hands of the version of the Italian painter.
By cons our portrait is very close to that painted by Hyacinthe Rigaud which is kept in the museum of Perpignan (inv 96-1-1).
Indeed the colors are identical and as in our portrait the hands are juvenile, which is a rather disturbing element, which directs us towards the great master.
The original setting, with its oak wood, is also characteristic of Parisian productions during the reign of Louis XIV.
We know that Rigaud particularly admired Guido Reni, to the point of personally owning some of the great master's paintings.
It is a fact little known to the general public but Hyacinthe Rigaud made in the 1700s some rare copies of the works of Guido Reni, in particular of the apostles like St André, St Paul or St Pierre mentioned in the old inventories as of format half-figure .
With his exceptional talent, he managed to give grandiose expressions to the apostles and warmer colors, which allowed him to differentiate himself from the original.
These replicas, the exact number of which are unknown, were not intended for sale but for religious brotherhoods and probably also for friends of the painter.
Add to this that at that time the original canvas by Guido Reni belonged to Antoine Crozat and was exhibited in his private mansion on Place Vendôme, which probably enabled our painters to admire and copy it.
Price : on request
Price : on request