ROMANESQUE PAINTER, French
(active c. 1100s)
The early twelfth-century wall-painting in the apse of the chapel of the summer retreat of the abbots of Cluny at Berzé-la-Ville - probably a replica of one originally found in the apse of the now-destroyed abbey church of Cluny III - has as its unusual theme the Twelve Apostles combined with the Traditio Legis. In this Christ grants to St Peter the authority to govern the Church, symbolised by the handing over of a scroll; thus Peter is identified as the precursor of the popes.
The wall-painting is dominated by the figure of Christ in Majesty in a mandorla. He hands St Peter a scroll granting him authority to govern the church, and is surrounded by the Twelve Apostles. The style of the wall-painting is characteristic of that in Rome and southern Italy at the beginning of the twelfth century, and exhibits the strong influence of Byzantine painting.