Oil on canvas.
Aelbert Jansz van der Schoor was a great Dutch painter, but his art is little known. He is documented in Utrecht between 1620 and 1672, his style undoubtedly influenced by Abraham Bloemert and Jan Bijlerts. He painted mostly still lifes and historical scenes and is considered to be one of the Utrecht Caravaggists.
The theme of this high-quality painting is based on the Gospel of John (13:37-38), where the disciple Peter expresses his creed: “Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake.” Jesus answered: “Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee. The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.” And thus, it was. Soon after Peter so beautifully confessed his devotion, Jesus was arrested by soldiers and stood before the high priest and the Jewish Council. Peter followed Jesus there, but when a maid asks if he is one of Jesus’ disciples, Peter three times out of fear declared that he does not know him, exactly as Christ foretold. The figure of Peter has a general humanity and timeless about him. Although according to the Gospels he witnessed many miracles, and was the first of the elect, he could not help but doubt.