Study of the Martyrdom of Saint Peter Martyr

Pordenone (Giovanni Antonio de'Sacchis)1526–1528

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

Saint Peter Martyr, a Dominican friar, was murdered by hired assassins. This drawing shows the murderer forcefully restraining the struggling priest, who tries to ward off his attacker with an upraised arm. Pordenone conveyed a sense of immediacy by using a loose, gestural line and broad, quick cross-hatching. The pathos shown on the face of Saint Peter Martyr and the brute strength indicated by the muscular right arm and fist of the assassin indicate the artist's skill in capturing this violent act. Pordenone probably made this study for a competition with Titian and Palma Vecchio to paint an altarpiece for a church in Venice.


  • Title: Study of the Martyrdom of Saint Peter Martyr
  • Creator: Pordenone (Giovanni Antonio de'Sacchis)
  • Date Created: 1526–1528
  • Location Created: Italy
  • Physical Dimensions: 24.4 × 20.6 cm (9 5/8 × 8 1/8 in.)
  • Type: Drawing
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Red chalk
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 87.GB.91
  • Culture: Italian
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Creator Display Name: Pordenone (Giovanni Antonio de'Sacchis) (Italian, about 1483/1484 - 1539)
  • Classification: Drawings (Visual Works)

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