The Crucifiement of St. Peter

by Sébastien BOURDON (1643)

by Sébastien Bourdon (1643)



The May of 1643, The Crucifiement of St. Peter, painted by Sébastien BOURDON (1616-1671), is currently hung in the chapel of St. Genevieve.


The table
The Saint is crucified by several executioners obeying Governor Agrippa, his head down, as he wished himself, for he does not judge himself worthy of being on the cross as his Savior. On the right, a child looks carefully and a dog bares; on the left, a woman, seen from the back, holds a child in her arms, and before her a character, who is perhaps Marcel or Apulée, disciples of Peter, speaks to the future martyr, while in heaven an Angel holds a wreath of flowers and another a Palm.
According to the article by Pierre-Marie AUZAS (in The fine Arts Gazette, 1949)

In the Scriptures
It is historically proven that the Apostle Peter preached in Rome during the last years of his life when he died as a martyr. According to tradition, he was crucified upside down. In his lifetime, St. Peter had insisted on the fact that theChurch is not diminished but is grown by persecution
(I ~ Peter 1.6; 2.1-4). It is generally accepted that the place of martyrdom corresponds to Nero's gardens in the Vatican. According to Tacitus, this is where the hardest scenes of persecution took place.

The martyrdom of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul made for us this day a sacred day wrote St. Augustine for the day of their feast. [...] What they proclaim has been echoed by all the Earth and their word to the end of the world. These martyrs saw what they preached after they lived according to righteousness by proclaiming the truth, dying for the truth.
Saint Augustin


NDP Boullay 556-version 2

NDP Boullay 556-version 2

Light a candle at Notre-Dame