José Antolínez, Spanish, 1635-1676
Title: The Liberation of Saint Peter
Date: early 1670s
Medium: Oil on canvas
167 x 128 cm
Signed: upper left: Josef/Antolinez
Credit Line: Purchased, 1859
Object Number: NGI.31
DescriptionAntolínez was a pupil of Francisco Rizi and worked mainly in Madrid. A prolific artist, he is best known for his many theatrical versions of the Immaculate Conception. In his relatively short life, however, he proved that he was able to treat any subject in a very personal style, which combined Venetian colouring with a fluid and vigorous Flemish-baroque technique.

The story portrayed here is recounted in the Acts of the Apostles (12: 6-8). King Herod Agrippa arrested St Peter in Jerusalem for his preaching. In prison the saint was bound with two heavy chains and guarded by soldiers, but during the night an angel came and set him free. Antolínez chose to represent the moment when the angel woke Peter and the chains fell from his hands.

The variety of colours normally used by Antolínez, as seen in this picture, make him one of the most original artists of his time.

(National Gallery of Ireland: Essential Guide, 2008)

ProvenancePossibly from the Hospital de los Italianos, Madrid; auction, Dublin, 1838, George Watkins sale; Thomas Walker, Dublin; purchased, Thomas Walker, Dublin, 1859
Exhibition HistoryIrish Institution, Dublin, 1860

From Titian to Delacroix: Masterpieces from the National Gallery of Ireland, Yokohama Sogo Museum of Art, Yokohama, 25 August - 17 October 1993; Chiba Sogo Museum of Art, Chiba, 10 November - 20 December 1993; Prefectural Museum of Art, Yamaguchi, 5 January - 20 February 1994; Kobe City Museum, Kobe, 25 February - 10 April 1994; Isetan Museum of Art, Tokyo, 14 April - 24 May 1994

European Masterpieces from the National Gallery of Ireland, National Gallery, Canberra, 25 June - 3 October 1994; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Adelaide, 21 October 1994 - 15 January 1995

This website uses cookies

We use optional cookies to enhance your user experience and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our analytics partners who may combine it with other information that you’ve provided to them or that they’ve collected from your use of their services.


About Cookies

Cookies are small text files that can be used by websites to make a user's experience more efficient. The law states that we can store cookies on your device if they are strictly necessary for the operation of this site. For all other types of cookies we need your permission. This site uses different types of cookies. Some cookies are placed by third party services that appear on our pages. You can at any time change or withdraw your consent from the Cookie Declaration on our website. Learn more about who we are, how you can contact us and how we process personal data in our Privacy Policy. Please state your consent ID and date when you contact us regarding your consent.

Necessary Cookies

Necessary cookies help make a website usable by enabling basic functions like page navigation and access to secure areas of the website. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.

JSESSIONIDeMuseumUser SessionSessionHTTP

Statistics Cookies

Statistic cookies help website owners to understand how visitors interact with websites by collecting and reporting information anonymously.

_gaGoogle Tag ManagerRegisters a unique ID that is used to generate statistical data on how the visitor uses the website.2 yearsJavaScript
_gidGoogle Tag ManagerRegisters a unique ID that is used to generate statistical data on how the visitor uses the website.1 dayJavaScript