By Maggie Bell 

On April 6, 1252 Peter Martyr, also known as Peter of Verona was assassinated.  Peter was a thirteenth-century Dominican preacher who spoke vehemently against heresy.  His zeal was lauded by Pope Innocent IV, who appointed him general inquisitor of northern Italy in 1251.  Shortly after receiving this high-profile position, Peter died by the blade of a “heretic”, which is why he is almost always depicted with a sword cleaving a bloody wound in his skull.  The saint was canonized almost immediately by Innocent IV, who set his feast day on April 29.  Peter Martyr appears frequently in Dominican imagery, such as the frescoes in the convent of San Marco in Florence painted by Fra Angelico.  

Further reading:

Pietro da Verona,, accessed April 4, 2018. 

Cima da Conegliano, Saint Peter Martyr with Saints Nicholas and Benedict, 1505-1506, Pinacoteca Brera.

Lorenzo Lotto, Madonna and Child with the Young St John the Baptist and St Peter Martyr, 1503, Collezione Farnese. 

Fra Angelico, Peter Martyr, 1441, Museo di San Marco Florence.

Pedro Berruguete, Peter Martyr, 1493-1499, Museo del Prado.

Giovanni di Balduccio, Presentation Scene with Saint Peter Martyr and Three Donors, c. 1340, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. 

Carlo Crivelli, Peter Martyr, 1476, The National Gallery in London. 

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