The Liberation of St. Peter

Church of St. Peter in Chains, Rome

This episode is narrated in Acts 12:6-8. St. Peter is chained in his cell between two sleeping soldiers when an angel awakens him and says, "Arise quickly." Then the chains fall off and the angel tells him, "Gird thyself, and put on thy sandals.… Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me."

The painting follows the narrative quite faithfully. The barred window establishes the space as a prison cell. Part of the chain is visible behind Peter and a broken link can be seen on his left thigh. The sleeping men are dressed in armor because the text says they are soldiers. The image differs only in the matter of the "garment" (vestimentum in the Latin), which Peter is already wearing.

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Photographed at the church by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.