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Saint Peter and Saint Paul

  • Saint Peter and Saint Paul. Barcelona © MNAC – National Art Museum of Catalonia

    Saint Peter and Saint Paul. Barcelona © MNAC – National Art Museum of Catalonia







El Greco

Cultural background


Original title

San Pedro y San Pablo
National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC)
Barcelona, Catalonia

This painting provides us with an excellent opportunity to appreciate El Greco's Mannerist and Venetian colours.

The meeting of the apostles Peter and Paul after their falling out is the main subject matter of the painting. This fact is implied by the greeting hands, which cross each other but do not enter into contact. Peter, depicted as a tired old man seems to be making a yielding gesture, or one of acknowledgement, to Paul, who is proudly wielding the sword, a common feature of his iconography. Behind them, the clouds opening out onto to blue sky highlight their aura of saintliness. The work reflects the great richness of colour and plot for which the Cretan master is famous.

Details of the work


116 cm x 91.8 cm

Oil on canvas


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