Landscape with Christ Giving the Keys to Saint Peter
oil, canvas, 63,5 x 55,5 cm
NG S 1175, National Gallery of Slovenia, Ljubljana
We know the scene in the foreground from the Gospel According to Saint Matthew (16, 19); it shows Christ as he hands Peter the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven: whatever he binds or loosens on earth, will be bound or loosened in heaven.
The style of this marvellous painting demonstrates close links with Adam Elsheimer and Agostino Tassi and is characteristic of Jacob Pynas – in particular the way in which the painter depicts foliage and branches. This is probably an early work, it may have been painted during the painter’s sojourn in Rome. The figures, which are actually very good but different from the artist’s usual figures, may have been the work of some collaborator.
Restored: Around 1914 in Vienna, Viktor Jasper.
Provenance: Ralph M. Bernard collection, London; Christie’s auction, London, 29 June–1 July 1872, No. 29 (Paul Brill and Annibale Carracci); bought by “Louis” (according to a letter from Margaret Christian of Christie’s, London, to Ksenija Rozman 11 November 1980); collection of Isidor von Klarwill (d. 1898), Vienna; collection of Henriette von Klarwill, Vienna; collection of Peter von Klarwill, Vienna, who donated the painting to the Narodna galerija in 1936 as a work by Paul Brill and Annibale Carracci.
Exhibitions: 1960, Ljubljana, No. 99; 1983, Ljubljana, No. 89.
Lit.: Catalogue 1872, p. 6 (Brill and Carracci); Frimmel 1906, p. 20, Fig. on p. 17 (Brill); Frimmel 1914, p. 386, Fig. (Klarwill collection); Cevc 1960, p. 38, Cat. No. 99, Fig. 46 (Paul Brill); Zeri [& Rozman] 1983, pp. 159–160, Cat. No. 89, Fig. VII, 93.