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The Inquisition was a tribunal established by the Roman Catholic Church for the suppression and punishment of heresy. It was especially active in Spain and Italy where it attempted to purge these countries of activities which did not conform with the dictates of the Church. The inquisition was often administered by Dominicans; Saint Peter Martyr was engaged in its business when he was killed.

In a famous case, Veronese was brought before the Inquisition in 1573 to answer the charge of irreverence in a painting intended to represent the Last Supper. Now known as the 'Feast in the House of Levi', the painting is today in the Accademia in Venice.