Originally part of a predella, the lowest section of an altarpiece, this panel depicts the martyrdom of Saint Peter of Verona (1205–1252). According to legend, Peter, a Dominican monk, was attacked and killed while traveling in northern Italy, from Como to Milan. The story is told in continuous narrative, showing more than one event in the same painting. This technique originated in the Middle Ages, when pictures were an important means of teaching a largely illiterate population. Peter’s halo, shown after the first scene, indicates that he has earned the status of saint and martyr. A bishop, a monk, and an acolyte are shown in the background, outside a church, perhaps having just received the news of Peter’s death.
Tempera and gold leaf on wood panel
ID Number: SC 1958:38