(b. ca. 1400, Rottweil, d. ca. 1445, Basel)
The Miraculous Draught of Fishes1443-44
Tempera on wood, 132 x 151 cm
Musée d'Art et d'Histoire, Geneva
The only signed and dated work by the Swiss painter Konrad Witz is the Saint Peter Altarpiece of which only four panels (the wings) survived. The interior displays the Adoration of the Magi on the left wing, the kneeling donor presented by St Peter to an enthroned Madonna and Child on the right. The reverse sides were dedicated to scenes of St peter: the Miraculous Draught of Fishes and the Calling of Peter on the left, the Freeing of St Peter from Prison on the right.
The Miraculous Draught is the masterpiece of the altar. In what has often been described as the first topographical landscape inNorthern painting. Witz presents us with a stunning view of the Swiss countryside. The Sea of Galilee, in fact, is Lake Geneva seen in the environs of Mont Blanc with the Petit Salève across the lake and the dark mountain, the Môle, appearing directly over the head of Christ.