The Calling of Peter

Peter, although on his knees, busy, and looking up to Jesus, is the dominant, not only the
central figure of this scene. His portrait evokes robust simplicity, down-to-earth
industriousness and practical sense. In his eyes, he carries a definite dose of mild skepticism. In
contrast, Christ appears fainthearted, a hesitant petitioner rather than a fiery leader of disciples.
Drawn mainly in profile to reinforce the impression of meek and gentle hesitation, the gesture of
Jesus' right hand placed on Peter's shoulder considerably alters the overall impression of weakness
and indetermination. The hand is both tender and heavy, and has a definite effect on Peter's
behavior. His right eye -the eye closest to Jesus' hand- suddenly widens in amazement and
understanding. Christ's silent call has penetrated his thick and round head and reached his heart.
The third figure, Andrew, the brother of Simon, looks on, seemingly puzzled, but eventually he
will follow Peter's decision. Dix refused to be called Christian. Asked to give a plausible reason for
his refusal, he answered that in order to be a true Christian one had to follow Christ, but that he
himself was not able to say yes to Jesus' invitation.
Related scripture reading:  Matthew 4: 18-20


This page, maintained by The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute, Dayton, Ohio 45469-1390, and created by Jim Danis , was last modified Wednesday, 04/18/2001 16:57:41 EDT by Jim Danis . Please send any comments to

URL for this page is