ARNOLFO DI CAMBIO
(b. ca. 1245, Colle di Valdelse, d. ca. 1310, Firenze)

The Statue of Saint Peter

c. 1300
Bronze
Treasury of San Pietro, Vatican

This statue of Apostle Peter, seated on a throne, is one of the few surviving monumental bronze statues from the Middle Ages. The antique elements of the work, such as the drapery, make this figure one of the outstanding examples of classicising tendencies of thirteenth-century European sculpture.

The majestic figure looks grave and solemn, with dense curls in the hair and beard, and is dressed, antique style, with tunic, heavy mantle, and sandals, while holding the symbolic keys of St Peter in his left hand and giving a blessing with his right.

The statue was originally made for the apse of the oratory of San Martino situated externally, near the right side of the apse of Constantine. From 1605 it is placed in front of the first column on the right of the dome in St Peter's.