The Mass at Bolsena

The Mass at Bolsena
Artist Raphael
Year 1512
Medium Fresco
Location Apostolic Palace, Vatican City

One of the frescoes for the Stanza di Eliodoro is The Mass at Bolsena, which was created by Raphael in 1512. It was a depiction of the 1263 miracle that happened when a priest who hailed from Germany doubted if the host actually becomes the body of Christ in the Eucharist when suddenly the bread began to bleed, fell into the table and formed the figure of a cross.

The painting is significant since it is one of those few paintings where the artist included himself in the scene where in this case, Raphael was one of the Swiss guards. Art critics also mention that such painting showed the artist’s attempt to move away from the conventional paintings at that time, when models were posing stiffly. He did this by making the people arch and kneel and move in different directions.