The Miraculous Communion of Saint Catherine of Siena

Object Details


The Miraculous Communion of Saint Catherine of Siena


Domenico Beccafumi (Italian, 1484 - 1551)




Italy (Place created)


about 1513 - 1515


Oil and gold leaf on panel


28.9 × 41.3 cm (11 3/8 × 16 1/4 in.)

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This small panel depicts an episode from the life of the Dominican tertiary and mystic, Saint Catherine of Siena. Upon arriving at church late one day because of her difficulty walking, Saint Catherine was dissuaded by her companions from taking communion because they knew her ensuing ecstasy would last for several hours. She concurred but prayed for God's help in receiving the Eucharist. Miraculously, an angel took a piece of the consecrated host and gave it to the saint. Celebrating Mass at a side altar, her confessor looked around with concern for the missing piece of the host. Neither he nor the others could see the miracle, so their expressions reflect bewilderment.

This panel and its companion, Saint Catherine of Siena Receiving the Stigmata, were probably made for the predella of an altarpiece dedicated to the saint.

until 1958

Private Collection [sold, Christie's, London, November 28, 1958, lot 116, to Warren.]

1958 -

Source: Annotation in both copies of the sales catalogue in the GRI collections.


Edward Speelman, Ltd. (London, England)

by 1974

Mr. & Mrs. Fielding Lewis Marshall, American

by 1990 - 1997

Stanley Moss (Riverdale-on-Hudson, New York; New York, New York), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997.

Exhibition of the Marshall Collection (December 31, 1973 to January 8, 1974) (Cat. 62)
  • Sotheby's (London), December 31, 1973 to January 8, 1974
Domenico Beccafumi e il suo tempo (June 16 to September 16, 1990) (Cat. 4)
  • Pinacoteca Nazionale (Siena), June 16 to September 16, 1990

Waterhouse, Ellis Kirkham. Notebooks, 67 vols., 1924-85, Los Angeles, Getty Research Institute, accession no. 870204, vol. 51, p. 90 (Jan. 8, 1974).

Christie, Manson, & Woods, London. Catalogue of Pictures by Old Masters. November 28, 1958, p. 18, lot 116.

W. & F. C. Bonham & Sons, London. The Marshall Collection of Old Master Paintings. March 28, 1974, pp. 234-5, lot 118, ill.

Bartalini, Roberto. "Domenico Beccafumi, 1513-1518." In Domenico Beccafumi e il suo tempo, exh. cat. (Siena: Pinacoteca nazionale, 1990), pp. 86-87.

Domenico Beccafumi e il suo tempo, exh. cat. (Siena: Pinacoteca nazionale, 1990), pp. 98, 101, ill., entry by Roberto Bartalini.

Jaffé, David. Summary Catalogue of European Paintings in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 7, ill.

Gribbon, Deborah. "Selected Acquisitions made by the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1995-97." The Burlington Magazine 139, no. 1136 (November 1997), p. 824, fig. 10.

Torriti, Piero. Beccafumi (Milan: Electa, 1998), pp. 74-75, fig. P12b.

Dubus, Pascale. Domenico Beccafumi (Paris: Adam Biro, 1999), p. 190, fig. 6.

Boskovits, Miklós, ed. The Alana Collection: Newark, Delaware, USA. Vol. II, Italian Paintings and Sculptures from the Fourteenth to Sixteenth Century. Peter Spring, trans. (Florence: Centro Di, 2011), p. 52.

Kennedy, Trinita, ed. Sanctity Pictured: The Art of the Dominican and Franciscan Orders in Renaissance Italy, exh. cat. (Nashville: Frist Center for the Visual Arts, with Philip Wilson Publishers, 2014), p. 215.