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Art Notes: The Communion of the Apostles
In this issue, we continue our study of the art in the Compendium with an examination of a painting by Joos van Wassenhove, which the Compendium entitles ‘Jesus gives Communion to the Apostles’. It introduces in pictorial form Part Two of the Compendium, ‘The Celebration of the Christian Mystery’. Its placing there emphasises yet again that “The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian Life. The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented towards it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch” (CCC 1324). Joos van Wasenhove came from Ghent in Flanders, but worked for many years at the court of the great Federico da Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino in Italy (1422-1482). Hence he is also know as Joos van Ghent, and in Italian as Giusto da Guanto. He is generally credited with the introduction of oil-based paints and Flemish techniques to Italy. The altarpiece has a predella of six panels painted by Uccello, and is still in the Ducal Palace, (now a galleria), in the town of Urbino.