Commissioned by Claude d'Urfé, Ambassador of the King of France to the Council of Trent. Executed by Fra Damiano da Bergamo and his assistants in the Convent of San Domenico at Bologna, and set up in the Chapel of the Château de la Bastie d'Urfé, near Lyons.
The altarpiece, representing the Last Supper, is signed by Fra Damiano and dated 1548. It was designed by Jacopo Barozzi da Vignola.
The inlaid panels show architectural views, still lifes, landscapes, sacred subjects and ornamental patterns.
The carved cartouches display the cipher of Claude d'Urfé and his wife, Jeanne de Balzac, the Eucharistic sacrificial lamb, adopted as an emblem by Claude d'Urfé, and various Trinitarian symbols. The design of these cartouches was also probably due to Vignola.
The inscription running around the wainscoting is based upon the words of the Eucharistic hymn of Saint Thomas Aquinas. It indicates that the Chapel was dedicated to the Holy Sacrament as well as to the Trinity.
Inscription: Inlaid around frieze of main chapel, beginning to the right of the altar: MAIOREM HAC DILECTIONE NEMO HABET AMORIS ENIM IMPETV SE NASCENS DEDIT SOCIUM CONVESCI IGITVR O CHRISTE GLORIA REGNANS IN PRAEMIVM • TIBI HANC MENSAM HOC SACRIFICIVM VIVENTES AC MORTVI ENS IN AEDVLIVM MORIENS
Notes on Inscription: The words in their present order do not make sense and it is not certain at what point in the chapel's history the incorrect arrangement originated. Efforts were made at the time of the chapel's installation in the Museum to arrange the frieze in a more correct verbal order, but the intarsia could not be fitted in that way.
The correct order was worked out and the sources identified as follows: MAIOREM HAC DILECTIONE NEMO HABET (Greater love hath no man than this - John XV, 13)
AMORIS ENIM IMPETU. SE NASCENS DEDIT SOCIUM CONVESCENS IN AEDULIUM.MORIENS [IN PRETIUM]. REGNANS IN PRAEMIUM (thus, by the strength of His love, in being born He became our brother, At our table He became our nourishment, In dying He became our ransom, In ruling He is our reward - from the Eucharistic Hymn by St. Thomas Aquinas, Verbum Supernum...)
TIBI IGITUR O CHRISTE GLORIA...I HANC MANSAM HOC SACRIFICIUM VIVENTES AC MORTUI...(To You, therefore, O Christ, Glory...the living and the dead [offer?] this altar, this sacrifice).
Claude d'Urfé , Château de la Bastie d'Urfé, near Montbrison, St. Étienne-le-Molard (Loire), France (and through descent, until 1874); Émile Peyre , Paris (1874–ca. 1904) ; Harry Payne Whitney , New York (ca. 1904–42; sale, Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, April 29–30, 1942, no. 341); children of Mrs. Harry Payne Whitney (until 1942; to MMA)