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The Miraculous Draught of Fishes
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Joachim Beuckelaer
Netherlandish, Antwerp, 1563
Oil on panel
43 1/2 x 83 in.
71.PB.59

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At the left, Saint Peter and other disciples of Christ pull their teeming nets of fish aboard a boat. After an unsuccessful night of fishing on the Sea of Tiberius, the tired and hungry disciples had seen a man standing on the shore and followed his advice to cast their nets over the boat's right side. Their miraculous catch inspired Peter to recognize Christ, appearing after his death and Resurrection; in the middle scene, Peter enters the water to meet him. On the right, Christ and the disciples share a meal around a fire. The foreground depicts peasants hauling in baskets of fish to take to the market, forming a contemporary parallel to the biblical scene.

Joachim Beuckelaer specialized in combining genre subjects with religious scenes. In The Miraculous Draught of Fishes, he contrasted the spiritual world of the Bible with the materialism of the contemporary world.