The Crucifixion of Saint Peter is a painting created by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio in 1600-1601. It was commissioned by Tiberio Cerasi for the Cerasi Chapel of Santa Maria del Popolo in Rome. The artwork depicts the martyrdom of Saint Peter, who was crucified upside down as he requested.
One striking feature of the painting is its use of subdued colors, which symbolize Saint Peter’s minimal judicial execution. The figures in the painting are set relief-like against a dark wall, creating a sense of intimacy and monumentality. This technique was characteristic of Caravaggio’s Baroque art style.
The Crucifixion of Saint Peter is regarded as one of Caravaggio’s masterpieces and an iconic work of Italian Baroque art. Its realism and vivid portrayal have been praised over the centuries. The work contrasts with Annibale Carracci’s altarpiece on the same chapel, which emphasizes idealized beauty rather than naturalistic representation.