Christ holds up the symbolic keys of heaven before presenting them to Peter his chief disciple and 'the rock' on which he will build the church. The large E on the free standing column may refer to 'Ecclesia' (The Church). The other disciples acknowledge this significant moment through their varied gestures and expressions. Poussin planned every detail to ensure a balanced composition appropriate in mood and authentic in setting. He was the first artist to paint The Seven Sacraments or rites of the Christian Church as a series of individual pictures, which he did twice. This work belongs to his second set of 1644-48, painted for Paul Freart de Chantelou.