Caravaggio’s late works depend for their dramatic effect on brightly lit areas standing in contrast to a dark background. The picture, a marvel of narrative, was painted in the last months of Caravaggio’s tempestuous life and marks an extreme stage in his revolutionary style. Peter is shown before a fireplace, when a woman accuses him of being a follower of Christ. The pointing finger of the soldier and two fingers of the woman allude to the three accusations and to Peter’s three denials. In 1613 the painting belonged to Guido Reni who received it from the engraver Luca Ciamberlano as compensation for debts.
The Artist: Trained in Milan and active in Rome (1592–1606), Naples (1606–7; 1609–10), Malta (1607–8), and Sicily (1608–9), Caravaggio was one of the most revolutionary figures of European art. His practice of painting directly from posed models violated the idealizing premise of Renaissance theory and promoted a new relationship between painting and viewer by breaking down the conventions that maintained painting as a plausible fiction rather than an extension of everyday experience. Although his career spans little more than fifteen years, the transformation from his earliest works, in which a realist impulse is tempered by delicacy of description, and his late, dark style—at once dramatic in effect and suggestive of the tragic side of life—is immense. Like many young artists arriving in Rome, he worked for other artists and then for a dealer before being "discovered" by a cardinal—Francesco Maria del Monte, who gave him quarters in his palace and promoted his career. Following the clamorous success of his first public commission for three canvases in San Luigi dei Francesi, Caravaggio's work came to be seen in contrast to the idealist style promoted by Annibale Carracci and his pupils (see 1971.155), and the resulting dialectical relationship certainly encouraged the development of the opposing tendencies in their art. In the Cerasi Chapel in Santa Maria del Popolo, the work of both was intentionally juxtaposed. Caravaggio's proclivity towards violence and his inability to get on with his colleagues may also have played a part and these character flaws have loomed large in the biographical interpretation of his paintings. When, of necessity, he fled Rome for Naples in 1606, following a fight after a game of tennis, he was the most famous painter in Italy, and there followed a succession of masterpieces painted with astonishing rapidity and mastery in a dark and expressive style without precedent in European art. The most commanding of these works is an enormous canvas showing the decollation of Saint John the Baptist for the cathedral of Valletta in Malta, where the artist sought to become a knight—and thus to get a papal pardon for his crime in Rome. His return to Naples, where he was attacked and badly scarred, and his death of fever on the coast near Porto Ercole were seized upon by his early biographers as a kind of divine judgment on his character and have proved no less irresistible to modern writers: no other Old Master has been the subject of so many novelistic biographies. The Metropolitan owns works from the beginning and end of his career, making it possible to appreciate the varied character of his contribution to western art.
The Picture: The early inventories establish that the painting belonged to Paolo Savelli, who died in 1632. He must have acquired it from Guido Reni, to whom it had been ceded in 1613 by the engraver Luca Ciamberlano (Urbino ca. 1575–1641 Rome) in compensation for debts he had incurred (Nicolaci and Gandolfi 2011). It was valued highly at 240 scudi. The picture was clearly known by a number of artists active in Rome shortly after that date (Nicolaci and Gandolfi 2011, pp. 48–55). Among these is a painting in the Galleria Corsini, Rome, formerly ascribed to the Master of the Judgment of Solomon and now recognized as the work of the young Ribera when still in Rome—and thus dating to ca. 1613–15—which clearly derives from Caravaggio’s painting (see Papi 2002, pp. 22, 34–35, and Spinosa 2003, pp. 30–34), as does—even more clearly—a privately owned canvas by Lionello Spada (see Emilio Negro and Nicosetta Roio, Pietro Faccini, 1575/76–1602, 1997, p. 24, fig. 43); Spada returned to Bologna from Rome and Malta in 1614.
Paolo Savelli's interest in Caravaggesque painting is known through his patronage of Orazio Gentilleschi, documented from 1613 to 1615 but probably beginning in the first decade of the century; he owned no fewer than twelve paintings by the artist (Christiansen 2001, p. 36 n. 56). In 1650 the Savelli collection was being offered for sale to the Duke of Modena and the picture must have been sold soon thereafter, explaining why it was not known to Caravaggio's principal biographer, Giovan Pietro Bellori. (An attempt to associate the painting with another work described by Bellori has been disproved: the picture he described is still in the sacristy of San Martino in Naples.)
According to the account in the Gospels (Matthew 26:69–75; Mark 14:66–72; Luke 22:55–62; John 18:17–18, 25–27), when Christ was arrested Peter followed him into the courtyard of the high priest Caiaphas. There he was accused by three passersby of being a disciple of Jesus. He denied each successively, thus fulfilling Christ's prophecy that before the cock crowed he would deny him thrice. Prior to the seventeenth century Peter's denial was usually included only as part of a Passion cycle. Even in the seventeenth century, in keeping with Counter Reformation theology, it was Peter's repentance after his denial rather than the denial itself that was the most popular subject. Caravaggio's invention is notable for the condensation of the Gospel narratives into a dramatic confrontation involving just three figures, shown half length (a format first explored in North Italy in the late fifteenth and sixteenth centuries). The closest analogies for the style of the picture are with the Martyrdom of Saint Ursula (Banca di Napoli), with which it must be more or less contemporary. As in that work, so here Caravaggio probes with unparalleled poignancy a dark world burdened by guilt and doom, suggesting to some scholars an intersection with his biography. Coupled with formal gesture as a conveyor of meaning is Caravaggio's use of costume to insist on painting as a staged fiction. Just as, in the Martyrdom of Saint Ursula, the king wears a piece of near-contemporary armor, thus breaking down the fiction of an imagined past, so in the Denial of Saint Peter the soldier's helmet is taken from a precise model of late fifteenth or early sixteenth-century manufacture similar to one now in the Bargello, Florence (inv. 1634 C; Scalini 1989, p. 217; see Additional Images, fig. 1). The same helmet was used by Caracciolo in his Liberation of Saint Peter in the Pio Monte della Misericordia, Naples, and it perhaps made the rounds in Naples as a studio prop.
[Keith Christiansen 2014]
Luca Ciamberlano, Rome (until 1613; gave to Reni in payment of debt); Guido Reni, Rome (from 1613); Cardinal Paolo Savelli, palazzo Savelli, Ariccia (by 1624–d. 1632; inv., 1624, without attribution; inv., 1631, no. 87, without attribution, "Un S. Pietro con L'ancella cornice dorata"); his brother, Federico Savelli, palazzo Savelli, Ariccia, and palazzo di Montesavello, Rome (1632–d. 1649); his nephew, Cardinal Fabrizio Savelli, palazzo di Montesavello, Rome (1649–at least 1650; inv., February 3, 1650, as "S. Pietro negante del Caravag.o"; inv., September 1650, as "Un' Ancella con S. Pietro negante, et una altra meza figura per traverso, p.mi 5, et 4 del Caravaggio, D. 250"); said to have remained with the Savelli family, Rome and Naples (until ca. 1952); Vincenzo Imparato Caracciolo, Naples (bought on the Neapolitan art market after 1945; by 1952); his daughter, principessa Elena Imparato Caracciolo, Naples (until 1964/70; sold to Dik); [Ian Dik, Lausanne, Switzerland, and Julius Weitzner, New York and London, 1964/70–76; sold to Shickman]; [Herman Shickman, New York, 1976–97; sold to MMA]
London. Royal Academy of Arts. "Painting in Naples 1606–1705: From Caravaggio to Giordano," October 2–December 12, 1982, no. 18 (lent anonymously).
Washington. National Gallery of Art. "Painting in Naples 1606–1705: From Caravaggio to Giordano," February 13–May 1, 1983, no. 18.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Age of Caravaggio," February 5–April 14, 1985, no. 100 (lent by a private collection).
Naples. Museo di Capodimonte. "Caravaggio: l'ultimo tempo 1606–1610," October 23, 2004–January 23, 2005, no. 17.
London. National Gallery. "Caravaggio: The Final Years," February 23–May 22, 2005, no. 17.
Montpellier. Musée Fabre. "Corps et ombres: Caravage et le caravagisme européen," June 23–October 14, 2012, no. 9.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "Bodies and Shadows: Caravaggio and His Legacy," November 11, 2012–February 10, 2013, no. 8.
Hartford. Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. "Burst of Light: Caravaggio and His Legacy," March 8–June 16, 2013, no. 8.
Inventory of the Palazzo Savelli, Ariccia. 1624, unnumbered? [see Testa 1998], as a Denial of Saint Peter, without attribution.
Inventory of the Palazzo Savelli, Ariccia. January 29, 1631, no. 87 [published in Luigi Spezzaferro, "Un imprenditore del primo Seicento: Giovanni Battista Crescenzi," Ricerche di storia dell'arte 26 (1985), pp. 72-73; Getty no. I-2099], as "Un S. Pietro con L'ancella cornice dorata".
Testament of Federico Savelli. October 25, 1646, c. 582 [Archivio di Stato di Roma, Trenta Notai Capitolini, Uff. 5, Carolus Constantinus; see Testa 1998 and Macioce 2010], cites a painting by Caravaggio, presumably this one.
Inventory of the Palazzo di Montesavello, Rome. February 3, 1650, unnumbered [Archivio del Pio Sodalizio dei Piceni, Rome, Eridità Alaleona, v.209, ff. 223-24; see Testa 1998; Getty no. I-4017], as "S.Pietro negante del Caravag.o".
Inventory of the Palazzo di Montesavello, Rome. September 1650, unnumbered [Archivio Palatino di Modena; published in Giuseppe Campori, "Raccolta di cataloghi ed inventarii inediti . . . ," Modena, 1870, p. 162; Getty no. I-2097], as "Un' Ancella con S. Pietro negante, et una altra meza figura per traverso, p.mi 5, et 4 del Caravaggio, D. 250".
Roberto Longhi. Written communication. 1964 [see Refs. Marini 1974, Marini 1979, and Cinotti 1983], following restoration, calls it an autograph work of Caravaggio.
Pierre Rosenberg inLe siècle de Rembrandt: Tableaux hollandais des collections publiques françaises. Exh. cat., Petit Palais. Paris, 1970, p. 104, under no. 110, in connection with a painting of the Denial of Saint Peter by Gerard van Honthorst (Musée du Louvre, deposited at the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Rennes, in 1876), notes that, a few years before, he saw a picture of the same theme with three figures, certainly by Caravaggio, in a private collection in Lausanne.
Mia Cinotti in Gian Alberto Dell'Acqua. Il Caravaggio e le sue grandi opere da San Luigi dei francesi. Milan, 1971, p. 179 n. 119.
Carlo Volpe. "Annotazioni sulla mostra caravaggesca di Cleveland." Paragone 23 (January 1972), p. 71, as whereabouts unknown, but probably the work referred to by Rosenberg [see Ref. 1970] as in a private collection in Lausanne; dates it to Caravaggio's last years in Naples, noting a connection with a picture of the same subject in the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, Rome, by the Master of the Judgment of Solomon; suggests this artist saw Caravaggio's painting on a visit to Naples.
Cesare Brandi Università di Roma. Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. 1972–73, p. 112 [see Ref. Cinotti 1983].
Arnauld Brejon de Lavergnée and Jean-Pierre Cuzin. I caravaggeschi francesi. Exh. cat., Villa Medici. Rome, , p. 58 [French ed., "Valentin et les caravagesques français," Grand Palais, Paris, 1974, p. 58], as formerly in Naples, currently on the art market; dates it to the end of Caravaggio's life.
Maurizio Marini. "Caravaggio 1607: La 'Negazione di Pietro'." Napoli Nobilissima 12 (September–October 1973), pp. 189–94, ill. (overall and details), as whereabouts unknown; dates it to Caravaggio's first Neapolitan period, about 1607, along with his Nostra Signora della Misericordia (Pio Monte della Misericordia, Naples) and Salome (National Gallery, London).
Maurizio Marini. Io Michelangelo da Caravaggio. Rome, 1974, pp. 39–40, 224, 428–29, no. 66, ill. pp. 224–25 (overall and detail), colorpls. III, XIII (overall and detail), dates it 1607.
Herwarth Röttgen. Il Caravaggio: Ricerche e interpretazioni. Rome, 1974, pp. 202, 254 nn. 178–79, fig. 116, refers to it in the text as in a private collection and in the caption as whereabouts unknown; calls it possibly the latest surviving work by the artist.
Cesare Brandi. "L''episteme' caravaggesca." Caravaggio e i caravaggeschi. Rome, 1974 [published in "Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei" 371, no. 205 (1974), p. 10, pl. II], knows it only from a photograph, but finds some details weak; illustrates it as Attributed to Caravaggio, on the art market, London.
Mina Gregori. "Significato delle mostre caravaggesche dal 1951 a oggi." Novità sul Caravaggio. Ed. Mia Cinotti. Milan, 1975, p. 47, fig. 22 (detail), as whereabouts unknown; states that its provenance is Neapolitan.
Alfred Moir. Caravaggio and His Copyists. New York, 1976, pp. 120, 162 n. 290, no. 124, fig. 114, as in a private collection, Switzerland; judging from photographs, finds it close to the Salome in the National Gallery, London, and thus conceivably painted by Caravaggio during the last months of his life; mentions that it had reportedly been in the Caracciolo family, Naples, since the seventeenth century.
Françoise Bardon. Caravage ou l'expérience de la matière. Paris, 1978, pp. 173–74, 209 n. 29, as whereabouts unknown; tentatively dates it to Caravaggio's first stay in Naples in 1607.
Oreste Ferrari inNuove conoscenze e prospettive del mondo dell'arte. Rome, 1978, p. 372, calls the attribution to Caravaggio uncertain, as the picture is not available for direct observation.
Benedict Nicolson. The International Caravaggesque Movement. Oxford, 1979, p. 33 [2nd ed., rev. and enl. by Luisa Vertova, "Caravaggism in Europe," Turin, 1989, vol. 1, p. 81], as in a private collection, Switzerland.
Maurizio Marini. "Michael Angelus Caravaggio Romanus": Rassegna degli studi e proposte. Rome, 1979, pp. 15, 36 nn. 4, 5, notes its inclusion in the Savelli inventory of 1650 [see Ref.].
Alfred Moir. Caravaggio. New York, 1982, p. 56.
Mina Gregori inPainting in Naples 1606–1705: From Caravaggio to Giordano. Exh. cat., Royal Academy of Arts. London, 1982, pp. 37, 39–40, 130–32, no. 18, ill. p. 69 (color), questions the identification of this picture with the one in the Savelli collection [see Ref. 1650]; relates the MMA painting to the artist's Martyrdom of Saint Ursula (Banca Commerciale Italiana, Naples) of 1610, finding the psychological treatment in the two pictures to be especially similar; notes that the MMA painting was formerly in the Imparato Caracciolo family, Naples, but that it is uncertain if it came to them by descent.
"Painting in Naples from Caravaggio to Giordano." Tableau 5 (September/October 1982), ill. p. 67 (color), as in a private collection.
Howard Hibbard. Caravaggio. New York, 1983, pp. 340–41, no. 192, ill., as in a private collection, Switzerland; based on photographs, accepts the attribution to Caravaggio; remarks that this was not the work mentioned by Bellori [see Notes]; notes that a picture with this subject was attributed to Caravaggio in a Medici inventory of 1624 comprising works at Poggio Reale.
Mia Cinotti inI pittori bergamaschi dal XIII al XIX secolo., Il Seicento. Bergamo, 1983, vol. 1, pp. 548–49, no. 67, ill. p. 631, fig. 1, as formerly in a private collection, Switzerland; finds it impossible to know for sure if the MMA picture is the one included in the Savelli inventory, but notes that the description is very similar and that the high valuation suggests that it was an original, not a copy.
Mina Gregori inThe Age of Caravaggio. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1985.
Keith Christiansen. "Caravaggio and 'L'esempio davanti del naturale'." Art Bulletin 68 (September 1986), pp. 430–31, 445, figs. 20, 21 (overall and detail), as in a private collection; calls this the only painting in which the character of Caravaggio's preliminary drawing is revealed, due to the fact that the soldier's red sleeve has become transparent over time, so that, with the aid of a strong light, a rapid, summary, brush drawing for the placement of the arm can now be seen; adds that this drawing is not visible with infrared reflectography because of its medium and color, and the brown ground itself; mentions the possible presence of several incised lines, probably used to help lay in the initial design.
Maurizio Marini. "La 'Giuditta' del 1607: Un contributo a Caravaggio e a Louis Finson." L'ultimo Caravaggio e la cultura artistica a Napoli in Sicilia e a Malta. Ed. Maurizio Calvesi. Syracuse, Italy, 1987, p. 73, fig. 16 (detail), as in a private collection, New York.
Maurizio Marini. Caravaggio: Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio 'pictor praestantissimus'. Rome, 1987, pp. 61, 508–9, no. 73, ill. pp. 258 (two details), 259 (color), as in a private collection, New York; dates it 1607 and believes the picture arrived in Rome soon after it was painted, since a version of the figure of Saint Peter appears in a work of the same subject by the Master of the Judgment of Solomon in the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, Rome [but see Ref. Volpe 1972]; gives biographical details of the Caracciolo family; states that the picture was not shown at the Naples venue of the 1985 exhibition, despite being included in the catalogue.
Mario Scalini inArti del Medio Evo e del Rinascimento: Omaggio ai Carrand, 1889–1989. Exh. cat., Museo Nazionale del Bargello. Florence, 1989, pp. 217–18, under no. 6, identifies the helmet of the Roman soldier with a "celata" in the Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence (inv. 1634 C, Carrand collection), included in a Medici inventory of 1631.
Maurizio Calvesi. Le realtà del Caravaggio. Turin, 1990, p. 427, dates it 1609–10.
Mia Cinotti. Caravaggio: La vita e l'opera. Bergamo, 1991, pp. 180–81, 227, no. 81, ill. p. 226, dates it about 1609–10 and suggests that Caravaggio used the same model for the woman in this picture and for the Salomé in the National Gallery, London (erroneously stating that the picture is in the Louvre).
Ferdinando Bologna. L'incredulità del Caravaggio e l'esperienza delle "cose naturali". Turin, 1992, p. 344, no. 93, dates it to the first half of 1610, probably shortly before the artist's Saint Ursula in Naples.
Mina Gregori. Caravaggio. Milan, 1994, p. 155, no. 85, ill., dates it 1609–10.
Vincenzo Pacelli. L'ultimo Caravaggio: dalla Maddalena a mezza figura ai due san Giovanni (1606–1610). Todi, 1994, pp. 99–100, fig. 47, dates it 1610 because of its similarity to the artist's Saint Ursula in Naples.
Caravaggio: Eine Fondacc-Forschung, Verifikation. Hof, Austria, 1995, p. 36, as in an unknown private collection, formerly at the Shickman Gallery, New York; dates it 1609.
John Gash inThe Dictionary of Art. Ed. Jane Turner. Vol. 5, New York, 1996, pp. 714–15, dates it after Caravaggio's return to Naples in 1609.
Paul Jeromack. "Recent Acquisitions: Met Buys Caravaggio by Instalments." Art Newspaper (July–August 1997), p. 9, ill.
Carol Vogel. "Inside Art." New York Times (June 20, 1997), p. C28, ill.
Eberhard König. Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, 1571–1610. Cologne, 1997, pp. 82, 86, fig. 77 (color).
Dennis P. Weller. Sinners & Saints, Darkness and Light: Caravaggio and His Dutch and Flemish Followers. Exh. cat., North Carolina Museum of Art. Raleigh, 1998, p. 206, no. 7, ill., dates it about 1609–10.
Laura Testa. "Presenze caravaggesche nella collezione Savelli." Storia dell'arte 93/94 (1998), pp. 348–49, 350 n. 5, p. 352, discusses archival sources and publishes Savelli documents, establishing that the MMA picture, without attribution, was included in an inventory of the Savelli collection in 1624.
Catherine Puglisi. Caravaggio. London, 1998, pp. 350–51, 411, no. 86, colorpl. 175, dates it about 1609–10.
Marco Bona Castellotti. Il paradosso di Caravaggio. Milan, 1998, pp. 134–35, fig. 45 (color), relates it to the Naples Saint Ursula.
Peter Robb. M: The Man Who Became Caravaggio. New York, 1998, pp. 464, 467–69, 519.
Stuart W. Pyhrr. Memorandum. September 28, 1999, notes that the helmet now in the Bargello, Florence [see Ref. Scalini 1989] enjoyed some notoriety in the early seventeenth century, although it is not clear who it belonged to or why it was singled out for use as an artist's 'prop'.
Maurizio Marini inCaravaggio. Exh. cat., Museo Nacional del Prado. [Madrid], 1999, p. 34, dates it 1607; suggests that it may originally have been at the Certosa di San Martino, Naples [see Notes], and that the painting of the same subject that is still there (which he attributes to Gerard Douffet) was later substituted for it; adds that it then went to Rome where it may have entered the Montalto Peretti collection before being owned by the Savelli family.
Denise Maria Pagano inLa Flagellazione di Caravaggio: il restauro. Ed. Denise Maria Pagano. Naples, 1999, p. 27, relates it to the Naples Saint Ursula.
Mina Gregori inLa luce del vero: Caravaggio, La Tour, Rembrandt, Zurbarán. Exh. cat., Galleria d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Bergamo. Cinisello Balsamo (Milan), 2000, p. 32, relates Saint Peter's gesture to that of Saint Ursula in the artist's "Martyrdom of Saint Ursula" in Naples.
Laura Damiani Cabrini inGiuseppe Vermiglio: un pittore caravaggesco tra Roma e la Lombardia. Ed. Daniele Pescarmona. Exh. cat., Galleria Civica, Campione d'Italia. Milan, 2000, p. 86, dates it about 1607, during the artist's first stay in Naples; mentions it in a catalogue entry for a picture (private collection, Lugano) of the same subject by Giuseppe Vermiglio (ca. 1585–1635) that is influenced by the MMA work.
Stefano Causa. Battistello Caracciolo: l'opera completa. Naples, 2000, p. 41, fig. 42.
John T. Spike with the assistance of Michèle K. Spike. Caravaggio. New York, 2001, pp. 230, 254, no. 57, ill. p. 233 (color), dates it 1607/1610.
Maurizio Marini. Caravaggio "pictor praestantissimus": l'iter artistico completo di uno dei massimi rivoluzionari dell'arte di tutti i tempi. 3rd, rev. ed. Rome, 2001, pp. 74–75, 119 nn. 391, 399, pp. 292–93, 522–23, 525, 527, no. 82, ill. (overall in color and two details).
Keith Christiansen inOrazio and Artemisia Gentileschi. Ed. Keith Christiansen and Judith W. Mann. Exh. cat., Museo del Palazzo di Venezia, Rome. New York, 2001, p. 36 n. 56, notes that it was included among works specified in Federico Savelli's will of 1646 as having been owned by his brother Paolo.
Gianni Papi. "Jusepe de Ribera a Roma e il Maestro del Giudizio di Salomone." Paragone 53 (July 2002), p. 22, mentions it in connection with the work of the same subject by the Master of the Judgment of Solomon, whom he identifies as Ribera.
Nicola Spinosa. Ribera. Naples, 2003, p. 38, ill. p. 30, sees in Ribera's "Denial of Saint Peter" (Corsini Gallery, Rome) a clear quotation of the gesture of Saint Peter in this painting, which he assumes Ribera saw in an early visit to Naples.
Luisa Vertova. "La religiosità di Nicolas Tournier a Roma." Nicolas Tournier et la peinture caravagesque en Italie, en France et en Espagne. Ed. Pascal-François Bertrand. Toulouse, 2003, pp. 96–97, fig. 29, describes the gesture of Saint Peter as a self-accusation and compares it with that in a picture of the same subject by Tourniers in a private collection and another by the Master of the Judgment of Solomon (now identified as the young Ribera) in the Galleria Nazionale di Arte Antica, Rome.
Mina Gregori inL'ultimo Caravaggio: il Martirio di Sant'Orsola restaurato, collezione Banca Intesa. Exh. cat., Galleria Borghese, Rome. Milan, 2004, p. 54.
Nicole Hartje. Bartolomeo Manfredi (1582–1622), ein Nachfolger Caravaggios und seine europäische Wirkung: Monographie und Werkverzeichnis. PhD diss., Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn. Weimar, 2004, p. 267, fig. 166.
Keith Christiansen inCaravaggio: The Final Years. Exh. cat., Museo di Capodimonte. Naples, 2005, pp. 110, 140–43, no. 17, ill. (color, overall and detail) [Italian ed., "Caravaggio: l'ultimo tempo 1606–1610," Naples, 2004].
Denise Maria Pagano and Mariella Utili inCaravaggio: The Final Years. Exh. cat., Museo di Capodimonte. Naples, 2005, pp. 178, 181, no. 39, ill. [Italian ed., "Caravaggio: l'ultimo tempo 1606–1610," Naples, 2004].
Nicola Spinosa inCaravaggio: The Final Years. Exh. cat., Museo di Capodimonte. Naples, 2005, p. 14 [Italian ed., "Caravaggio: l'ultimo tempo 1606–1610," Naples, 2004, p. 15].
Ferdinando Bologna inCaravaggio: The Final Years. Exh. cat., Museo di Capodimonte. Naples, 2005, pp. 40, 47 n. 116, p. 146 [Italian ed., "Caravaggio: l'ultimo tempo 1606–1610," Naples, 2004].
Dawson Carr inCaravaggio: The Final Years. Exh. cat., Museo di Capodimonte. Naples, 2005, p. 132 [Italian ed., "Caravaggio: l'ultimo tempo 1606–1610," Naples, 2004].
Gianni Papi inCaravaggio e l'Europa: il movimento caravaggesco internazionale da Caravaggio a Mattia Preti. Exh. cat., Palazzo Reale. Milan, 2005, p. 280.
Keith Christiansen. "Going for Baroque: Bringing 17th-Century Masters to the Met." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 62 (Winter 2005), pp. 33–35, fig. 29 (color).
Duncan Bull inRembrandt—Caravaggio. Exh. cat., Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam. Zwolle, The Netherlands, 2006, pp. 20–21, fig. 23 (color), dates it about 1607–10.
Catherine Puglisi. "Caravaggio's Life and 'Lives' over Four Centuries." Caravaggio: Realism, Rebellion, Reception. Ed. Genevieve Warwick. Newark, Del., 2006, p. 31.
Sheila McTighe. "Exhibition Review: The End of Caravaggio." Art Bulletin 88 (September 2006), pp. 584, 587–89, fig. 5.
Keith Sciberras inCaravaggio: Art, Knighthood, and Malta. Valletta, 2006, pp. 116–18.
Keith Christiansen inPhilippe de Montebello and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1977–2008. New York, 2009, pp. 36–37, fig. 48 (color).
Giorgia Pellini inCaravaggio Bacon. Ed. Anna Coliva and Michael Peppiatt. Exh. cat., Galleria Borghese, Rome. Milan, 2009, pp. 160–63, ill. (color, overall and detail).
Sebastian Schütze. Caravaggio: The Complete Works. Cologne, 2009, pp. 218, 284–85, no. 65, ill. pp. 230–31, 284 (color).
Keith Christiansen. "Low Life, High Art." New Republic (December 30, 2010), pp. 27–28.
Stefania Macioce inCaravaggio. Ed. Claudio Strinati. Exh. cat., Scuderie del Quirinale, Rome. Milan, 2010, p. 239.
Maria Cecilia Fabbri inCaravaggio e caravaggeschi a Firenze. Ed. Gianni Papi. Exh. cat., Galleria Palatina and Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence. Livorno, 2010, p. 66, fig. 7, conjectures that the picture may have been left by Caravaggio at Palo for Virginio Orsini, Duke of Bracciano, in thanks for his assistance as the artist fled north to Porto Ercole in 1610.
Nicola Spinosa. "Da Caravaggio a Massimo Stanzione." Pittura del Seicento a Napoli. Vol. 1, [Naples], 2010, pp. 20, 175, 353, no. 334, ill.
Rossella Vodret. Caravage: L'oeuvre complet. Cinisello Balsamo, Milan, 2010, pp. 34, 204–5, 210, no. 62, ill. (color).
Stefania Macioce. Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio: documenti, fonti e inventari 1513–1875. 2nd ed. Rome, 2010, p. 297.
Michele Nicolaci and Riccardo Gandolfi. "Il Caravaggio di Guido Reni: la 'Negazione di Pietro' tra relazioni artistiche e operazioni finanziarie." Storia dell'arte 130 (September–December 2011), pp. 41, 47–52, 54–55, 57, 61 n. 24, p. 62 n. 36, pp. 64, 148, fig. 3, publish a document of May 3, 1613 (Archivio di Stato di Roma, Trenta Notai capitolini, Ufficio 28, vol. 87, c. 8 r/v: “. . . unum quadrum, seu picturam manu quondam domini Michaelis Angeli de Caravaggio confectum, in quo dixerunt esse depictam effigiem Sancti petri negantis cum ancilla . . . pro pretio scutorum ducentorum quadraginto monete . . .”), listing the picture as compensation to Guido Reni for debts incurred by the engraver Luca Ciamberlano (ca. 1575–1641), and discuss its influence on other artists in Rome.
Cecilia Mazzetti di Pietralata. "Paolo e Federico Savelli, ambasciatori dell'imperatore: scambi artistici e musicali tra Roma e Vienna nella prima metà del Seicento." La Dinastía de los Austria: Las relaciones entre la Monarquía Católica y el Imperio. Ed. J. Martínez Millán and R. González Cuerva. Madrid, 2011, vol. 3, p. 1853.
Andrew Graham-Dixon. Caravaggio: A Life Sacred and Profane. New York, 2011, pp. 421–23, 479 n. 134, pl. 84, sees "a tragic falling off in the painter's manual dexterity" in this picture and "The Martyrdom of Saint Ursula" which he attributes to injuries received in the attack in Naples in October 1609.
Patrizio Barbieri. "Caravaggio's 'Denial of St Peter' Acquired by Guido Reni in 1613." Burlington Magazine 154 (July 2012), pp. 487–89, fig. 26 (color), republishes the document of May 3, 1613.
Michel Hilaire inCorps et ombres: Caravage et le caravagisme européen. Ed. Michel Hilaire and Axel Hémery. Exh. cat., Musée Fabre, Montpellier and Musée des Augustins, Toulouse. Milan, 2012, pp. 62–63, 92, 94, 96–97, no. 9, ill. (color) [English ed., "Caravaggio and His Legacy", Los Angeles, 2012, pp. 48, 156, no. 8, ill. pp. 49 and 156 (color)], dates it 1610; compares the head of the woman to Salome in "Salome with the Head of John the Baptist" (National Gallery, London).
Jean-Patrice Marandel inCorps et ombres: Caravage et le caravagisme européen. Ed. Michel Hilaire and Axel Hémery. Exh. cat., Musée Fabre, Montpellier and Musée des Augustins, Toulouse. Milan, 2012, p. 126 [English ed., "Caravaggio and His Legacy", Los Angeles, 2012, p. 60].
Lynn Federle Orr inCorps et ombres: Caravage et le caravagisme européen. Ed. Michel Hilaire and Axel Hémery. Exh. cat., Musée Fabre, Montpellier and Musée des Augustins, Toulouse. Milan, 2012, p. 234 [English ed., "Caravaggio and His Legacy", Los Angeles, 2012, p. 123].
Olivier Zeder inCorps et ombres: Caravage et le caravagisme européen. Ed. Michel Hilaire and Axel Hémery. Exh. cat., Musée Fabre, Montpellier and Musée des Augustins, Toulouse. Milan, 2012, p. 386 [English ed., "Caravaggio and His Legacy", Los Angeles, 2012, p. 128].
Daniele Radini Tedeschi. Caravaggio o della Vulgata. Rome, 2012, p. 226, no. 75.
Félix Witting and M. L. Patrizi. Caravaggio. New York, 2012, ill. pp. 126–27 (color), illustrate this picture, but discuss two or possibly three different works depicting this subject in the text, without distinguishing among them.
Brendan Prendeville. "A Heartfelt Gesture: Separation and Feeling, Darkness and Illusion in Caravaggio." Oxford Art Journal 36 (June 2013), pp. 203–6, fig. 6.
Joan Ramon Triadó inCaravaggio, 400 anys després. Ed. Rosa Maria Subirana Rebull et al. Barcelona, , p. 135.
Massimiliano Cesari inL'eredità di Caravaggio in Europa: uno sguardo privato. Ed. Raffaele De Giorgi. Exh. cat., Castello degli Acquaviva, Conversano. San Casciano Val di Pesa, , p. 60, under no. 23.
Larry Keith. "Caravaggio's Painting Technique: A Brief Survey Based on Paintings in the National Gallery, London." Caravaggio: Reflections and Refractions. Ed. Lorenzo Pericolo and David M. Stone. Farnham, England, 2014, p. 40.
Catherine Puglisi. "Talking Pictures: Sound in Caravaggio's Art." Caravaggio: Reflections and Refractions. Ed. Lorenzo Pericolo and David M. Stone. Farnham, England, 2014, p. 113, fig. 6.6 (color).
Stéphane Loire. "Les collections de peinture baroque aux États-Unis: un point de vue européen / Collections of Baroque Paintings in the USA: A European Perspective." Aux origines d'un goût: la peinture baroque aux États-Unis / Creating the Taste for Baroque Painting in America. Paris, 2015, pp. 26, 32.
Keith Christiansen. "La création tardive d'une collection de peintures baroques au Metropolitan Museum of Art / Creating a Baroque Collection at the Metropolitan Late in the Game." Aux origines d'un goût: la peinture baroque aux États-Unis / Creating the Taste for Baroque Painting in America. Paris, 2015, pp. 67–68, 72.
Sebastian Schütze. Caravaggio: The Complete Works. Cologne, 2015, pp. 218, 284–85, no. 65, ill. pp. 230–31, 284 (color).
Dolores Delgado inCaravaggio and the Painters of the North. Exh. cat., Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. [Madrid], 2016, p. 207.