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Ludovico Carracci | The penitent Saint Peter

Although mentioned by Ludovico's earliest biographer Malvasia as early as 1678, all trace of this monumental image by Ludovico Carracci of repentance was lost until its rediscovery approximately 40 years ago. Gail Feigenbaum was the first to suggest that the large scale and emotional grandeur of this Penitent Saint Peter suggested a later dating within Carracci’s career, towards the middle of the second decade of the seventeenth century, and specifically to circa 1613.

The striking use of expressive gesture and emotional content are indicative traits among Ludovico's later works. The figure, physically large and imposing, occupies virtually the entire picture surface, and is dramatically lit from above, highlighting the Saint against a dark and neutral background. | © Sotheby’s