SERODINE, Giovanni
(b. 1600, Ascona, d. 1630, Roma)

Parting of Sts Peter and Paul Led to Martyrdom

Oil on canvas, 144 x 220 cm
Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, Rome

Serodine executed this painting between 1625 and 1626 for the Gallery of Asdrubale Mattei's palace, the last major decorative project to be carried out in the Roman naturalistic style. It is mentioned with an attribution to Serodine in a 1631 inventory, along with its pendant The Tribute Money, now in the National Gallery at Edinburgh.

The composition of the canvas, the deportment of the figures, and the details of the two saints at the centre all derive from the Capture of Christ, painted by Caravaggio for Ciriaco Mattei in 1602; although Serodine's picture is less composed and more convulsed. The powerful execution of the figure, illuminated by lamplight, and the density of the impasted paint - in several places crumbled on account of the artist's imperfect mastery of oil technique - foreshadows Serodine's activity as a stuccoist and a sculptor, as well as revealing his formation as a self-taught painter.