Sunday, May 24, 2015


Pentecost, Giotto, Scrovegni Chapel

Sequence for Pentecost

Come, Thou Holy Spirit, come, 
And from Thy celestial home
Shed a ray of light divine.

Come, Thou Father of the poor,
Come, Thou source of all our store,
Come, within our bosoms shine.

Thou of Comforters the best,
Thou the soul's most welcome guest,
Sweet refreshment here below.

In our labor rest most sweet,
Grateful coolness in the heat,
Solace in the midst of woe.

O most blessed Light divine,
Shine within these hearts of Thine,
And our inmost being fill.

Where Thou art not, man hath naught
Nothing good in deed or thought,
Nothing free from taint of ill.

Heal our wounds, our strength renew,
On our dryness pour Thy dew,
Wash the stains of guilt away.

Bend the stubborn heart and will,
Melt the frozen, warm the chill,
Guide the steps that go astray.

On Thy faithful who adore,
And confess Thee evermore,
In Thy sevenfold gifts descend.

Give them virtue's sure reward,
Give them Thy salvation, Lord,
Give them joys that never end.

Amen. Alleluia.

The fresco for Pentecost is reminiscent of the one of the Last Supper. If you look at them carefully, you can see that the clothing is the same. That must be Matthias on the far right in the Pentecost painting. You can recognize this clothing in some of the other images of the apostles, too. For instance, at the washing of the feet,

and the Ascension. The clothing is, in fact, more consistent than the faces. 

 If you look at the faces of the apostles in the picture of Pentecost, you can see that some are gazing up, some have a rather dazed look on their faces, and two in the lower right-hand corner are looking at each other in wonder. You may have noticed that Giotto does not include Mary in the picture.

I'll put it here so you won't have to scroll up.

Giotto painted two other pictures of Pentecost, one which regrettably has been damaged. at the Church of St. Francis in Assisi, 

Mary is pictured in this one, but her face has been destroyed. I don't know if this damage was caused by the earthquake in 1997, but assume it was. I would also assume that is has been restored, as has the entire basilica, but I can't find any pictures of the restoration of this fresco.

There is also an egg tempera painting on a poplar panel that is currently in the National Gallery in London. It is quite different from the others, and again, Mary is missing.

Once again, all these images were found at the Web Gallery of Art.


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