Crucifixion of St. Peter, Michelangelo Buonarroti – description

In one thousand five hundred and thirty-seven years, they began to build a chapel, and Paul III invited the eminent master to decorate the interior – these were two frescoes: the presented and no less famous Appeal of Saul. Today, these creations of the ingenious Michelangelo are quite difficult to see – unlike the Sistine Chapel, Paolina is closed to tourists. It is here that the College meets before the election of the new Pope. However, in the Taylor Museum in Haarlem (Holland), you can miraculously see several pencil sketches for the fresco.
A fresco with a dramatic, religious plot narrating the execution of St. Peter is one of Michelangelo’s latest works. Ordered a fresco by Pope Paul III for the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican (Capella Paolina). The work lasted about four years.

Today we admire many of the works of the Great Renaissance master, whose contemporaries nicknamed the Divine – this is the painting of the Sistine Chapel, and the graceful David, and the dramatic Pieta, but it is the Crucifixion of St. Peter that many researchers consider the pinnacle of the painter and sculptor, its composition and expressive performance are so perfect.

Description of the picture:

Crucifixion of St. Peter – Michelangelo Buonarroti. 1546-1550. Fresco. Six hundred twenty five x six hundred sixty two cm

The obedience of the spectators depicted in the fresco is striking – fear and hopelessness are read in them. The executioners of Peter forcibly drove people to demonstrate awesome power, and they stand limp, “crushed” by cruelty and anger.

Only Peter, with all his mighty article, in a stubborn turn of his head demonstrates strength and greatness. It was he who ordered his tormentors to crucify him upside down, for he believed that he was not worthy to accept death just like Jesus, the son of the Lord.

It is worth noting that the artists did a poor job of this task. Often it looked sketchy and sometimes comical. But Michelangelo complicates the composition even more – he portrays Peter before the crucifixion, lively and rebellious, and besides a difficult technical task, he had to fill the plot with emotionality. The genius of the Renaissance skillfully implements its plan.

Some researchers suggest that in this work the painter also portrayed himself – a rider in a turban can be a self-portrait of Michelangelo in his youth. And here is the man who leads the squad – presumably Tomaso Qualleri, who was a pupil and friend of Michelangelo.

After finishing work on frescoes in the chapel, the master forever left painting, devoting himself entirely to working on architectural projects.