The Mass of St. Gregory

Pedro de Córdoba (Spanish, 1455-1525)

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This painting commemorates Christ's miraculous appearance to Pope Gregory the Great during the celebration of the Mass. At the very moment of the Elevation of the Host, Christ himself appears on the altar, displaying the wound in his side and directing a stream of blood into the sacramental chalice.

The pope's vision expresses the belief in the actual presence of Christ's body and blood in the Eucharist. The subject owed its popularity to its association with a papal indulgence (the remission of time otherwise spent in Purgatory), promised to those who reflected on the image and recited prescribed prayers in front of it.

Provenance research is on-going at the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields. Please contact Annette Schlagenhauff, Curator of European Art, at if you have questions, or if you have additional information to share with us.

Object Information

Pedro de Córdoba (Spanish, 1455-1525)
creation date
about 1475
oil on panel
32 x 24 in.
37-1/2 x 30-1/2 in. (framed)
accession number
credit line
James E. Roberts Fund
Public Domain
European Painting and Sculpture Before 1800

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