The Last Communion of Saint Mary of Egypt

Marcantonio Franceschini Italian

Not on view

A fifth-century ascetic, Mary of Egypt is shown receiving her Last Communion from the hands of the priest Zosimus, following forty-seven years of isolation in the wilderness of Palestine. The picture has a pendant showing the ecstasy of Saint Mary Magdalen (Molinari Pradelli collection, Bologna). It was given in 1709 to Pope Clement XI as a gift of the Senate of Bologna in anticipation of his support for the founding of an art academy in the city. Franceschini’s art strove for clarity of expression and an idealized humanity consonant with the religious and mythological stories that he depicted.

The Last Communion of Saint Mary of Egypt, Marcantonio Franceschini (Italian, Bologna 1648–1729 Bologna), Oil on copper

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