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|Author: Simone Pignoni|
|Painting, Oil on canvas, 141x114 cm|
|Origin: Italy, Second half of the 17th century|
According to one version of the legend of her life, Saint Petronilla was the daughter of the Apostle Peter, according to another a member of the Flavius family of Rome, who was baptised by Peter and given his name. Refusing to marry the patrician Flaccus, after three days of fasting and prayer she died. Petronilla was buried in the cemetery of Domitilla and in 755, on the orders of Pope Paul I, her remains were transferred to a chapel near St Peter's Cathedral. This chapel was then given to the French King Pippinus Brevis, since when Saint Petronilla has been considered to be patroness of France.
Pignoni shows the moment when Petronilla, just before her death, is given last communion by the priest Nicomedes, a pupil of St Peter. The girl's pale face with its shadows around the eyes seems to be almost translucent, while the blue ray which pierces the clouds floods her figure with a cold light.
|Personage: St Petronilla|
|Source of entry: 1923|
|Theme: The Bible and Christianity|
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