The painting, “Saint Peter Healing the Sick with His Shadow,” was completed by Italian artist Tommaso Cassai Masaccio in 1425-26 during the Early Renaissance period. Measuring 230 x 162 cm, the artwork was created using tempera on fresco and commissioned by the Vanni Castellani family of Florence. It is located in the Cappella Brancacci of the Santa Maria del Carmine in Florence.
The scene depicts Saint Peter dressed in an orange shall and walking through the ancient streets of Florence, healing the sick with his shadow in a miraculous manner. The faces of his followers show peace and admiration of the religious principles and natural power of healing. This was Masaccio’s earliest known work and originally resided in the church of San Lorenzo before being moved to San Giovenale.
Through the painting, Masaccio conveys the story of Saint Peter’s healing as a testament to the power of faith and divine intervention. The work also reflects the growing interest in naturalism during the Early Renaissance, as Masaccio attempted to realistically depict the ancient streets of Florence and the human form. Overall, “Saint Peter Healing the Sick with His Shadow” is a significant example of religious painting during the Early Renaissance and an important work in Masaccio’s oeuvre.