Saint Peter the Apostle

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Nicola di Maestro Antonio d'Ancona, Saint Peter, c. 1472, tempera on panel, 67.8 x 41 cm, The Courtauld Gallery, London 

Peter was a fisherman in Galilee who became a follower and then apostle of Christ.  Though he initially denied Christ, he came to be considered the first of the apostles and was the earliest to work miracles and perform baptisms, and organized the Church.  He was martyred by crucifixion in Rome, but chose to be crucified upside down because he was unworthy of dying in the same manner as Christ.

While not pictured here, another attribute is the cock, which representing Peter's denial and Christ's words:  "The cock shall not crow until thou hast denied me thrice."  He is either depicted in papal robes, or the traditional tunic and pallium of the apostles.

Saint Peter can also be recognized in many important scenes, including the Transfiguration, the Agony in the Garden, receiving the tribute money from the mouth of a fish, the Last Supper, the Traditio Clavium (the handing over of the keys to heaven), the capture of Christ, the Healing of the Sick, his upside-down Crucifixion, and the Last Judgment.