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Christ Standing in a Chalice Supported by Angels

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Christ Standing in a Chalice Supported by Angels 1620s

Not on display

The image of Christ’s limp body standing in a chalice and supported by angels refers to the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation. The Catholic Church believes that the bread and wine that are blessed by the priest during Mass actually become the body and blood of Christ, whereas Protestants believe the bread and wine act merely as symbols. Historically this has been one of the key issues dividing the Catholic and Protestant churches. In this drawing the blood gushing into the chalice from Christ’s wound is a forceful expression of Catholic belief. Palma’s design was undoubtedly intended to be incorporated somewhere in the Catholic liturgy, perhaps as part of the embroidered decoration on a priest’s ceremonial vestments.


  • Acc. No. D 3099
  • Medium Pen, brown ink with traces of black chalk on paper, laid down (with corners cut)
  • Size 26.90 x 19.30 cm
  • Credit William Findlay Watson Bequest 1881