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Christ Teaching from Saint Peter's Boat
Herman Saftleven
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A dramatic landscape unfolds in this small picture. Although the painting has a biblical subject, it is the mountains and sky that demand our attention. Towering clouds open up to reveal a radiant sun, and pine trees grow on the steep cliffs, framing an expanse of water and sky. The people depicted are dwarfed by nature.

Herman Saftleven specialised in landscape paintings, some of which had a mythological or religious subject; this one shows an important episode from the Gospel of Luke. Christ, dressed in blue, is sitting on the larger of the boats moored by the water’s edge. He preaches to the crowds that have gathered, raising his right arm upwards. After his address, Christ instructed the fisherman Simon (afterwards known as Peter) to lower his nets, even though they had caught nothing for hours. The nets came up full of fish. Simon Peter, together with his fellow fishermen James and John and his brother Andrew, decided to follow Christ, becoming his apostles.

Key facts
Artist Herman Saftleven
Artist dates 1609 - 1685
Full title Christ teaching from Saint Peter's Boat on the Lake of Gennesaret
Date made 1667
Medium and support Oil on oak
Dimensions 46.7 x 62.8 cm
Inscription summary Signed; Dated and inscribed
Acquisition credit Presented by Charles Lock Eastlake, 1906
Inventory number NG2062
Location in Gallery Not on display
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