Artist: Botticelli (Alessandro di Mariano Filipepi) (Italian, Florence 1444/45–1510 Florence)
Date: early 1490s
Medium: Tempera and gold on wood
Dimensions: 13 1/2 x 10 in. (34.3 x 25.4 cm)
Credit Line: Bequest of Benjamin Altman, 1913
Accession Number: 14.40.642
The great fourth-century scholar and translator of the Bible into Latin is shown in his cell near Bethlehem, supported by his brethren, receiving last communion. Famous in its day, the picture was painted in the early 1490s for the Florentine wool merchant Francesco del Pugliese. A supporter of the radical preacher Savonarola, Pugliese may have been attracted to the subject for its deeply devotional content.
The frame, contemporary but not original to the picture, was carved in the workshop of Giuliano da Maiano; the lunette is by Bartolomeo di Giovanni, who sometimes collaborated with Botticelli.