The Glorification of the Eucharist

Artist: Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish, Siegen 1577–1640 Antwerp)

Date: ca. 1630–32

Medium: Oil on wood

Dimensions: 28 x 19 in. (71.1 x 48.3 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Bequest of Ogden Mills, 1929

Accession Number: 37.160.12


This oil sketch is Rubens’s design for an altarpiece ensemble in the church of the Calced Carmelites in Antwerp, which was executed in 1637–38 by the painter Gerard Seghers and the sculptor Hans van Mildert. The risen Christ triumphs over sin and death (the snake and skeleton), and is flanked (left to right) by Melchizedek, Elijah, Saint Paul, and Saint Cyril of Alexandria, who were all associated with the Eucharist. In the columns and upper corners of the panel, which was later trimmed, Rubens offers the patron a choice of architectural motifs.