- Gallery Text
Scarsellino was born and worked in Ferrara but was strongly influenced by painting in Venice, where he likely trained during the 1570s. Formerly attributed to Jacopo Tintoretto, this work bears many of the hallmarks of sixteenth-century Venetian painting: a rustic outdoor setting, dramatic contrasts of light and dark, rich color, and a loose, gestural style of depicting drapery with “lightning bolt” strokes that index the rapid movements of the brush.
Although the Sea of Galilee gleams placidly in the distance, a gust of wind blows in the foreground, lifting Peter’s cape. According to the book of Matthew, the disciple saw Christ walking on water and tried to swim toward him; frightened by strong winds, he began to drown, until Christ saved him. Three other disciples visibly react to the scene from their fishing boat. As dawn breaks on the horizon, light surrounds Christ’s head like an aureole. The expressive gestures and luminous seascape lend the scene an urgent, ecstatic quality.
- Identification and Creation
- Object Number
Scarsellino (Ippolito Scarsella), Italian (c. 1550 - 1620)
Previously attributed to follower of Jacopo Tintoretto, Italian (Venice, Italy 1519 - 1594 Venice, Italy)
- Christ and Saint Peter at the Sea of Galilee
- Work Type
- c. 1585-1590
- Italian, Emilian, Ferrarese
- Persistent Link
Level 2, Room 2540, European Art, 13th–16th century, The Renaissance
View this object's location on our interactive map
- Physical Descriptions
- Oil on canvas
- 69.2 x 116.2 cm (27 1/4 x 45 3/4 in.)
frame: 126 x 142 x 12 cm (49 5/8 x 55 7/8 x 4 3/4 in.)
- [Julius Böhler, Munich]. [Wildenstein & Co., Inc., New York], sold; to Grenville L. Winthrop, New York, 1929, bequest; to Fogg Art Museum, 1943.
- Acquisition and Rights
- Credit Line
- Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Bequest of Grenville L. Winthrop
- Accession Year
- Object Number
- European and American Art
- THIS WORK MAY NOT BE LENT BY THE TERMS OF ITS ACQUISITION TO THE HARVARD ART MUSEUMS.
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- Publication History
Erich von der Bercken and August L. Mayer, Jacopo Tintoretto, R. Piper & Co Verlag (Munich, 1923), p. 1, repr.
Erich von der Bercken and August L. Mayer, Jacopo Tintoretto, R. Piper & Co Verlag (Munich, 1923), pp. 6, 141, 197
Hans Tietze, ed., Masterpieces of European Painting in America (London, England, 1939), pp. 98, 314, cat. no. 85, repr. p. 98 [as by Tintoretto]
Rodolfo Pallucchini, La Giovinezza del Tintoretto, ed. Edizioni Daria Guarnati (Milan, 1950), p. 153
Carlo Bernari, L'opera completa del Tintoretto, Rizzoli Editore (Milan, 1970), p. 134, no. C1, repr.
Burton B. Fredericksen and Federico Zeri, Census of Pre-Nineteenth-Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA, 1972), pp. 184, 199 [as by follower of Jacopo Tintoretto]
Rodolfo Pallucchini and Paola Rossi, Tintoretto: Le opere sacre e profane, Alfieri and Gruppo Editoriale Electa (Venice / Milan, Italy, 1982), p. 242, no. A 19
Edgar Peters Bowron, European Paintings Before 1900 in the Fogg Art Museum: A Summary Catalogue including Paintings in the Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 1990)
Ivan Gaskell, "Being True to Rubens", Art, Music, and Spectacle in the Age of Rubens: the Pompa Introitus Ferdinandi, ed. Anna Knaap and Michael Putnam, Harvey Miller Publishers (London, 2013), pp. 241-260, pp. 246-248, repr. p. 248 as fig. 4
- Exhibition History
Calming the Tempest with Peter Paul Rubens, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 12/22/2001 - 03/17/2002
32Q: 2540 Renaissance, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/16/2014 - 01/01/2050
- Related Works
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