The Mass of Saint Gregory the Great

Object Details


The Mass of Saint Gregory the Great


Adriaen Ysenbrandt (Netherlandish, active 1510 - 1551)




about 1510 - 1550


Oil on panel


36.2 x 29.2 cm (14 1/4 x 11 1/2 in.)

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In an elaborately detailed Gothic cathedral, Pope Gregory the Great kneels before the crucified Christ, who has miraculously appeared before the congregation. While saying mass one day, Pope Gregory became aware of a disbeliever and began to pray for a sign that would leave no doubt about the real presence of Christ in the Mass. Showing his stigmata and surrounded by instruments of his Passion, Christ materialized before the Pope. Gregory sees the vision first, gazing intently above as he spreads his hands in amazement.

Adriaen Ysenbrandt used gold-colored paint liberally to describe decorative candlesticks, censers, goblets, and the fine liturgical vestments. The church's ornate interior was rendered in crisp detail. In contrast, the figure's faces were softly and loosely painted, giving their features a blurred effect.

1854/1857 - 1869

Henry Labouchère, first baron Taunton, 1798 - 1869 (Quantock Lodge, Bridgewater, Somerset, England), possibly by inheritance to his second wife, Mary Matilda Georgiana Labouchère, 1869.

possibly 1869 - possibly 1892

Mary Matilda Georgiana Labouchère, baroness of Taunton, 1823 - 1892 (Quantock Lodge, Somerset, England), possibly by inheritance to her eldest daughter, Mary Dorothy Stanley, possibly 1892.

possibly 1892 -

Mary Dorothy (Labouchère) Stanley, died 1920

by 1926 -

Paul Bottenwieser (Berlin, Germany)

by 1927 -

E. Bolton (New York, New York)

1931 - 1932

Paul Bottenwieser (Berlin, Germany), sold to Harold Sidney Harmsworth.

1932 - 1941

Harold Sidney Harmsworth, first viscount Rothermere, 1868 - 1940 (Stody Lodge, Norfolk, England) [sold, Rothermere sale, Christie's, London, December 19, 1941, lot 81, to Wall.]

1941 -


- 1949

Private Collection (England), sold to Wildenstein & Co.,1949.

1949 - 1969

Wildenstein & Company (New York, New York), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1969.

Flandres, Espagne, Portugal du XVe au XVIIe siècle (May 19 to July 31, 1954) (35)
  • Galerie des Beaux-Arts (Bordeaux), May 19 to July 31, 1954
Religious Themes in Painting from the 14th Century Onwards (March 16 to May 5, 1962) (cat. 36)
  • Wildenstein & Co. (London), March 16 to May 5, 1962
The J. Paul Getty Collection (June 29 to September 3, 1972) (Cat. 54)
  • The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, (Minneapolis), June 29 to September 3, 1972
Related Media
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    Audio: Mass of Saint Gregory Great, feat. Ed Ruscha