St. Peter and St. Paul
American, born Greece, 1895–1970
Trained as a wood carver by his grandfather, John Perates went to work as a cabinetmaker when he moved to Maine from Greece in 1912. In 1938, Perates began work on a massive project that would occupy the next forty years of his life: a series of religious panels depicting the principal players and scenes from what he considered the greatest epic in history, the life of Christ. This large panel demonstrates how Perates combined his woodcarving skills, knowledge of the Bible, and familiarity with Byzantine-influenced religious icons to create an original and highly distinctive style.