(English, Nottingham, 15th century)
15.5 x 5 x 1.75 in
Adolph D. and Wilkins C. Williams Fund
As the keeper of the “Keys of Heaven” bestowed by Christ, Saint Peter is often depicted with one or more keys. Here, the saint holds a large key in his right hand. In his left is a book—either the Book of Life, which lists the names of the saved, or simply a symbol of his apostolic stature. Because Christ referred to him as the foundation of his Church, Saint Peter was best known as the first Pope of Christendom. This sculpture would have been a piece of a larger altarpiece.