A copy after Van Dyck's original painting of 1618–20, today in the Museo del Prado, Madrid (inv. no. P001477; 344 x 249 cm.), which first belonged to Van Dyck's teacher, Sir Peter Paul Rubens.1 Two other autograph versions, with compositional differences and varying dimensions, exist: at Corsham Court, on loan from the City of Bristol Museum and Art Gallery (274 x 222 cm.), and The Minneapolis Institute of Arts (inv. no. 57.45; 142 x 113 cm.).2 The Prado version differs most notably in the inclusion and position of Saint Peter attacking Malchus with his sword, lower left.
These compositions are undoubtedly among the most important of Van Dyck's early religious works, revealing the full range of his virtuosity and power of expression. No consensus has been reached as to the chronology of the three versions, which assimilate both Rubensian and Italian influences, and were widely copied in paintings (including by Jacob Jordaens) as well as prints.
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