(b. 1548, Venezia, d. 1628, Venezia)
The Eucharist Adored by the Four Evangelists1580-81
Oil on canvas
San Giacomo dall'Orio, Venice
The paintings in the old sacristy of the church, completed by Palma Giovane in May 1581, concentrate on the double aspect of the eucharistic mystery as defined by the Council of Trent: the sacrifice of the mass and of the sacrament. As a counter to ignorance and doubt, the paintings trace an illustrious history from the Old Testament, with episodes symbolically foretelling the eucharistic mystery in the Jewish Passover and the Crossing of the Red Sea, to the Gospels. The cycle revolves around the centre of the ceiling where the Eucharist is presented: a ciborium supported by four columns stands over an altar with the host in a monstrance in the form of the sun, surrounded by the four Evangelists.