This incident is not described in the New Testament and is rarely depicted in painting. According to tradition, during the persecutions under Nero, Saint Peter fled from Rome and on the Appian Way encountered a vision of Christ bearing his Cross. In answer to Saint Peter's question 'Lord, where are you going?', Christ replied that he was going to Rome to be crucified a second time. Saint Peter himself then returned to Rome, where he was later martyred.

This painting was commissioned by Cardinal Pietro Aldobrandini, who rewarded the artist with a gold chain. It is recorded as being in the Aldobrandini Collection in 1603.

Key facts

Artist
Artist dates
1560 - 1609
Full title
Christ appearing to Saint Peter on the Appian Way (Domine, Quo Vadis?)
Date made
1601-2
Medium and support
Oil on wood
Dimensions
77.4 x 56.3 cm
Acquisition credit
Bought, 1826
Inventory number
NG9
Location in Gallery