Pietro Novelli (1603-1647)
St. Peter Freed from Prison

Oil on canvas, 102 x 78 in. (260 x 198 cm.)
Galleria Regionale della Sicilia, Palermo
Provenance: Church of St. Peter in Chains, Palermo.

The painting illustrates Acts 12:6b-8 –

Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison. And behold an angel of the Lord stood by him: and a light shined in the room: and he striking Peter on the side, raised him up, saying: Arise quickly. And the chains fell off from his hands. And the angel said to him: Gird thyself, and put on thy sandals. And he did so. And he said to him: Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me.

As in other paintings of this episode Peter's "garment" (Latin vestimentum) is already on him. Otherwise, the text is followed closely. The chains are broken, the feet remain to be sandaled, the angel points the way, and the two soldiers remain asleep.

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