Eucharist, Juan de Juanes – overview of the painting

Eucharist, Juan de Juanes – overview of the painting
Eucharist, Juan de Juanes - overview of the painting - 1

  • Posted by Juan de Juanes
  • Museum: Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest
  • Year: 1560-1570

Overview of the painting :

Eucharist – Juan de Juanes. 1560-1570. Wood. 63 x 101 cm

   A well-known work of Juan de Juanes on a popular religious theme is his monumental canvas “The Last Supper”. But the artist wrote several images of Christ in the style of this canvas, different from him in details and color decision. One of these paintings is the Eukharistia canvas located in Hungary.

   This image of Jesus Christ with a cloud in his raised hand symbolizes the vow of communion or Eucharist. It is believed that the famous secret supper was actually the first rite of communion when Jesus bequeathed to his disciples to partake of bread and wine, symbolizing the blood and flesh of the Savior.

   In the picture, Jesus is depicted as a young red-haired man. He has a neat little beard and long curly hair. Christ puts on his free robe, similar to a shirt, a grayish-olive shade. From the sleeves of clothes you can see the lower shirt of light yellow. An alpine cloak will be thrown on the Spasitor’s shoulders, falling into beautiful large folds.

   The background is a large drapery of light green color, perfectly contrasting with the light skin of Christ and his bright red hair. In front of him on the table, covered with a tablecloth in a “chessweet” gray-white pattern, there is a remarkable thing. This is a bowl that is well known to everyone as the Holy Grail. In addition, this cup was used by Christ himself and his apostles during the secret supper, and then Joseph of Arimatheus gathered the blood of the executed Christ into it. The bowl has magical properties and gives the person who has drunk eternal life from it.

   But the picture is not just an abstract bowl, but a very real one that exists to this day. This is the Valencia Grail, or Santa Calis, stored in St. Mary’s Cathedral in Valencia. At the heart of the cup is a real agate cup of the 1st century AD.

   In the raised hand of Jesus is a guest, a cloud that is given to believers during the sacrament. This is the Body of Christ, a symbol of his sacrifice in the name of all mankind.