Apostles Peter and Paul (1592; Spain) by El Greco

Apostles Peter and Paul - El Greco - 1592; Spain

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Artwork Information

TitleApostles Peter and Paul
ArtistEl Greco
Date1592; Spain
Mediumoil,canvas
Dimensions121 x 105 cm
Art MovementMannerism (Late Renaissance)
Current LocationHermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia

About Apostles Peter and Paul

The artwork “Apostles Peter and Paul” is a creation of the renowned artist El Greco, who completed this piece in 1592 in Spain. This oil on canvas painting reflects the Mannerism art movement of the Late Renaissance. The dimensions of the painting are 121 by 105 centimeters, and it falls under the genre of religious painting. Currently, the artwork is housed in the Hermitage Museum, located in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

The painting depicts the two apostles, Peter and Paul, in a close setting which conveys a sense of interpersonal interaction and dialogue. The left figure, traditionally identified as Saint Peter, has an expression of thoughtful engagement and gestures toward the other figure. He is robed in a warm golden cloak and bears a modest demeanor. On the right stands Saint Paul, typically characterized with a dark beard, who engages with Saint Peter as he points toward an open book which could symbolize the New Testament or teachings of Christianity. His attire consists of a vibrant red cloak, evoking a sense of passion and conviction often associated with his character. Both apostles are rendered with elongated limbs and expressive hands, a hallmark of El Greco‚Äôs style within Mannerism. The dark, muted background juxtaposes with the vivid drapery of their garments, drawing attention to the figures and their interaction. The work exudes a strong religious sentiment, indicative of El Greco’s profound interest in spiritual themes.

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