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Martyrdom of saint Pedro de Arbués

Martyrdom of saint Pedro de Arbués

Technical details

  • Author Pedro Aybar Ximénez
  • Title Martyrdom of saint Pedro de Arbués
  • Timeline c. 1680
  • Technique Oil on canvas


Pedro Aybar, one of the most outstanding Aragonese painters from the High Baroque period and one of the artists known for their work in the "veta brava" (wild streak) style of broad brushstrokes and splotches that they used in their paintings, is the creator of this Apotheosis of Saint Peter Arbués, an Aragonese saint who lived in the 15th century. A canon of the cathedral of San Salvador in Zaragoza and grand inquisitor during the Spanish Inquisition, he was murdered during the night of 14 September 1485 while attending matins in the cathedral by paid assassins hired by important families of Jewish origin converted to Catholicism in the city, who opposed the establishment of the Inquisition in Aragon, decreed by the king of Aragon, Ferdinand II. Commonly known as "Maestre Épila", owing to his birth in the town of Épila in the province of Zaragoza, he was beatified in 1664. And although he was not canonised until 1867, he had been venerated as a saint in Aragon since the time of his beatification. This painting, which presided over a small altarpiece dedicated to the saint, shows Peter Arbués dressed as a canon and kneeling with the dagger that was plunged into his heart by his killers, with a background of grey-green cloud effects through which Aybar was able to create an image that would encourage the devotion of the faithful. 

Location in the museum

You may find this artwork on  Floor 1 Goya’s Background