Collection: Communion of St. Mary of Egypt

ARTIST: Museum Religious Art Classics


Artist: Marcantonio Franceschini – c. 1680

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.

Her feast day is April 1.