Paolo Veronese and the Petrobelli Altarpiece
29 May 2009 - 15 Sep 2009
Around 1563, the cousins Girolamo and Antonio Petrobelli commissioned a huge altarpiece for the church of San Francesco in the small town of Lendinara, near Venice. They turned to Paolo Veronese, a celebrated painter with strong ties to the region. The cousins hoped that the spectacular work would seal their status as one of the leading families in the town. Set above the altar in their burial chapel, Veronese’s painting shows the two men protected by their name saints. The cousins are privileged to witness a miraculous apparition, a foretaste of the future: the archangel Saint Michael, who will weigh the souls of the dead at the Last Judgment. Above, we see the dead Christ, who according to Christian tradition died to redeem mankind. Veronese offered his patrons a compellingly realistic depiction of a visionary scene, and captured the hope of the faithful Christian for salvation.