Saint Peter

Jacob Jordaens

Jacob Jordaens, Saint Peter, early 17th century. Oil on canvas, Alte Pinakothek, Munich, Germany.

Jacob Jordaens (1593–1678) was a Flemish Baroque painters working in Antwerp. Jordaens studied under the painter Adam van Noort but was greatly influenced by his contemporary Peter Paul Rubens. Jordaens’s style reflects Rubens’ exaggerated treatment of form and exuberant use of color. Jordaens’s paintings differ from Rubens in their stronger use of chiaroscuro (the contrast of light and shade) and thicker impasto (a style of applying pigment with a brush or palette knife so that it stands in raised relief). Saint Peter exemplifies these qualities. Peter’s face is shadowed while light shines on his yellowing skin, and his white hair and skin are rendered with exaggerated texture. Peter is depicted as an old man holding scripture and a key, canonical iconography for the apostle.