This damaged picture was originally a portrait of a Dominican friar and not a representation of Saint Peter Martyr, whose attributes of the palm, sword and knife were added probably in about 1600.

At this time a green curtain hanging behind the unidentified sitter was also obscured with black paint. The signature appears to be original, and though the picture is sometimes thought to be a production of the studio, its high quality, particularly in the subtle depiction of the facial expression, suggests it was painted by Giovanni Bellini himself in the 1490s.

Key facts

Artist dates
active about 1459; died 1516
Full title
A Dominican, with the Attributes of Saint Peter Martyr
Date made
about 1490-1500
Medium and support
Oil on poplar
59.1 x 48.3 cm
Inscription summary
Acquisition credit
Bought, 1870
Inventory number
Location in Gallery