Saint Peter Distributing Alms and the Death of Ananias is an Italian fresco altarpiece painted by Masaccio in 1425-26, located in the Brancacci Chapel in Florence. The artwork depicts two moments of the story of St. Peter: distributing donations to the poor and the death of Ananias. It is one of several scenes from the life of St. Peter depicted in the chapel frescoes, showcasing Peter spreading the gospel and doing good works in Palestine.
The painting’s composition is solemn and classical, with opposing groups of characters. St. Peter, dressed in bright red, stands in the center distributing funds, while the sick and poor huddle around him. Contrastingly, Ananias’s death is depicted on the right side of the panel, surrounded by mourners, but with a bright light shining down from above. The artwork notably features a prominent and expressive portrayal of St. Peter’s face, communicating his compassion and piety.
Masaccio’s Saint Peter Distributing Alms and the Death of Ananias is a masterpiece of Renaissance art, demonstrating the artist’s skillful use of perspective and naturalism. It continues to be celebrated for its religious subject matter and artistic excellence, showcasing the power of art to convey spiritual messages.