Louis Smith was one of seven artists shortlisted for the Threadneedle Prize in 2009. Louis’s inspiration for this painting was a painting by Caravaggio the “Crucifixion of St Peter”. He used the theme to explore issues dealing with the discrimination, the persecution of people for their beliefs and exclusion from social groups depending on their percieved morality.
He wanted to create a visually disturbing image, trying to capture the shock and pain of such an ordeal.
The story of St Peter. He was crucified in AD 64 in Rome at the order of Nero. He was one of Jesus Apostle’s and he was a founder and leader of the Christian Church. He created a following in Rome and the Christian movement was used as a scapegoat for the great fire of Rome. He was accused of being the ring leader and sentenced to death. Most victims of this torture were crucified in the nude and some upside down to add to the humiliation.