(b. ca. 1450, Cortona, d. 1523, Cortona)

Communion of the Apostles

Panel, 232 x 220 cm
Museo Diocesano, Cortona

This work seems to be straining to escape from the cruel and tragic style of the Last Judgment of Orvieto and the Lamentation of Cortona, in order to imitate the sweet tones of the airy architecture of Raphael and the new sixteenth-century school.

The iconography of this panel is very unusual. The apostles, some standing, some on their knees, surround Christ to receive the consecrated Host. This contrasts with the traditional way in which the apostles are represented, seated around a set table. A classical structure functions as a background. The work reminds one of the rhythmic works of Perugino and seems to imitate Raphael's School of Athens. The figure of Judas is stupendous; he is leaning to one side hiding the Host in his bag with a look that shows the painful realization of his betrayal.

The painting is signed and dated on the first capitals of the background columns.