(b. 1559, Villa Castelvecchio di Cigoli, d. 1613, Roma)

Calling of Sts Peter and Andrew

Oil on canvas, 370 x 239 cm
Galleria Palatina (Palazzo Pitti), Florence

The scene shows Jesus meeting the two fishermen, Simon and Andrew, on the shores of Lake Tiberias, and the invitation to them to leave everything behind and follow him on his path. This is a central episode in the general picture narrated in the Gospel, as not only does it represent the start of Jesus's life as a preacher, but it is also the foundation for the future history of Christianity.

The essence of this solemn passage is shown in this composition with an extremely clear narrative: the organised layout of the figures allows the onlooker to clearly identify the moment and to capture, first and foremost, the intense effect of the looks between the master and his disciple, which reveals both the revolutionary request from Jesus and the firm affirmative response from the simple fisherman, ready to become a "fisher of souls".

This work was painted in 1607 for nobleman Niccolò Carducci, agent of the Grand Duke Ferdinand I in Livorno, and destined for the chapel in the cathedral of that city. It is one of the most stunning works by the artist and also one of his last, since he died in 1608.