Study of the Martyrdom of Saint Peter Martyr
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Italian, 1526 - 1528
Red chalk
9 5/8 x 8 1/8 in.

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Saint Peter Martyr, a Dominican friar, was murdered by hired assassins. This drawing shows the murderer forcefully restraining the struggling priest, who tries to ward off his attacker with an upraised arm. Pordenone conveyed a sense of immediacy by using a loose, gestural line and broad, quick cross-hatching. The pathos shown on the face of Saint Peter Martyr and the brute strength indicated by the muscular right arm and fist of the assassin indicate the artist's skill in capturing this violent act. Pordenone probably made this study for a competition with Titian and Palma Vecchio to paint an altarpiece for a church in Venice.

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Collector's mark: Flinck

Collector's mark: Devonshire