Calling of Saint Peter, The
The conversion of Simon Peter has been one of the most popular subjects in Western art. His physical traits were based on a description by Eusebius of Caesarea from the 3rd or 4th century describing him as having short, curly hair, a short beard, and wrinkled features. Originally, Simon was a fisherman from Galilee. Jesus renamed him Kephas in Aramaic (Petros in Greek) because it meant rock and signified that he was founding his church with Peter: You are Kephas and on this rock I will build my church. The Catholic Church views Peter as the first bishop of Rome and therefore the first pope. Born into an aristocratic Catholic family, Jan Pynas was a Dutch painter of the High Baroque. The contemporary scholar Houbraken mentioned that Rembrandt worked for some months in the workshop of Jan Pynas and said that some considered Pynas to have been his first master. There are similarities in color tones and compositions between the two painters. Pynas made his reputation with paintings from biblical and ancient history which eschew the eloquent gesticulation prevalent among contemporary Dutch artists in favor of simplicity and a lack of ornament.