The Liberation of St. Peter
On View

Hendrick van Steenwijck was known by his contemporaries as a painter of architectural motifs. Gothic church interiors, palace terraces and prison interiors formed the subjects of much of his work. The dimly lit, vaulted prison interior with deep perspectival space and sleeping guards is completely characteristic of paintings by Steenwijck, who used geometry and mathematical formulas in his compositions. St. Peter’s liberation by the angel after being imprisoned by King Herod is just one of several focal points in the composition. Steenwijck painted more than 25 versions of this subject, each of them slightly different from the others.


  • Artist Name: Hendrick van Steenwijck the Younger (Dutch, 1580-c.1648)
  • Title: The Liberation of St. Peter
  • Date: 1618
  • Medium: Oil on panel
  • Dimensions: 20-1/2 x 25-3/4 in. (52.1 x 65.4 cm)
  • Credit Line: Norton Simon Art Foundation, Gift of Mr. Norton Simon
  • Accession Number: M.1979.58.P
  • Copyright: © Norton Simon Art Foundation

Object Information

Private English Collection.
[Brian Koester Gallery, London].
M. J. Green (sale, Sotheby's, London, 10 July 1974, no. 112, to);
Norton Simon, Los Angeles, gift, 1979 to;
Norton Simon Art Foundation.

Exhibition of Dutch and Flemish Paintings

  • London, Brian Koester Gallery, 1971-10-11 to 1971-12

[on loan]

  • Henry Art Gallery, 1974-08-12 to 1974-12-09
  • Goldner, George with Lee Hendrix and Gloria Williams, European Drawings, Catalogue of the Collections, 1988, p. 222
  • Howarth, Jeremy, The Steenwyck Family as Masters of Perspective, 2009, fig. II.C.12 p. 486
  • Howarth, Jeremy, The Steenwyck Family as Masters of Perspective, 2009, pp77, 299 (64), 303 (8)
  • Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best, 2010, cat. 1071 p. 369
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