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  • The Mass of Saint Gregory

    Artist:
    German painter. 15th century
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    141,5x71,5 cm

German painter. 15th century

The Mass of Saint Gregory

Germany, Second half of the 15th century

Judging by the inscription in the lower part of the panel, this painting was what was known as a pictorial indulgence, widely found in the 15th and 16th centuries. Pope Gregory IX, whose name is mentioned in the inscription, decreed a system of pictorial indulgences, which gave remittance or partial forgiveness for sins committed. The second purpose of this painting was to serve as an epitaph, probably to the person depicted in the lower left corner. Its subject comes from a late 13th-century legend of the Church of Santa Croce in Jerusalem in Rome, according to which, whilst Pope Gregory the Great was serving a mass in the church the congregation doubted the true presence of Christ in the communion bread. The Pope prayed to the Lord and Christ appeared on the altar, wearing his Crown of Thorns and with the bleeding wounds he received when he was nailed to the Cross. Depicted alongside Christ are the instruments of the Passion with which he was tormented: the scourge and rods, and behind them the cross, sponge and lance. These very relics were then kept in the Church of Santa Croce. Beside the altar are the Virgin Mary and St John the Evangelist, with a bishop and St Gregory wearing the papal tiara in the foreground.

Title:

The Mass of Saint Gregory

Place:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

141,5x71,5 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1924; handed over from the State Museum Fund

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-4693

Category:

Collection: