The Miraculous Communion of Saint Catherine of Siena

Artist: Giovanni di Paolo (Giovanni di Paolo di Grazia) (Italian, Siena 1398–1482 Siena)

Medium: Tempera and gold on wood

Dimensions: 11 3/8 x 8 3/4 in. (28.9 x 22.2 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: The Friedsam Collection, Bequest of Michael Friedsam, 1931

Accession Number: 32.100.95


These three panels belong to a series from the base (predella) of a large altarpiece and constituted the first extensive narrative cycle of Catherine of Siena, a Sienese mystic as well as minister to the poor and plague-stricken. They were commissioned after her canonization in 1460 and are based on the biography written by her confessor, Raymond of Capua. Among the most notable features is the way space is manipulated to enhance the mystic character of their subject. Two further scenes are in the Metropolitan (Robert Lehman Collection). For more information about these paintings, including detailed descriptions of the stories, visit