The Apostles Peter and Paul
Domenikos Theotokopoulos (El Greco) 1587-92
Oil on canvas; 121 x 105 cm
El Greco was one of the first painters in Spain to depict the two Christian apostles, St Peter and St Paul, together. This enabled the artist both to reflect on religious concerns and to contrast their different personalities: St Paul is devout and passionate, St Peter gentle and meek. The poses and gestures, the colours and expression, the superb technique, all these emphasize the contrast between the two. This painting comes from the high period of El Greco's creative life, a period during which he executed a whole series of works on the subject of Christ and the Apostles.
The painting is housed in the Hermitage Museum in Russia, website below.