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Supper at Bethany

15th century
25.4 cm x 20.5 cm (10 in. x 8 1/16 in.)

Bernardino Butinone (Treviglio, Italy, before 1453 - 1528, Treviglio, Italy) Primary

Object Type: painting
Artist Nationality: Europe, Italian
Medium and Support: Tempera on wood panel
Credit Line: Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, The Suida-Manning Collection, 2017
Accession Number: 2017.940

Coming to the town of Bethany, Jesus and his disciples were invited to a supper in the house of Lazarus. When they sat down at the table, Mary Magdalene, sister of Lazarus, anointed Jesus' feet with costly perfume and wiped it with her hair. Considered to be a prefiguration of Jesus' death and burial, this story was one of the popular subjects in Christian art.

The Blanton's painting belongs to a series of fifteen panels that illustrate important moments from the life of Jesus. As a whole, they would have formed a part of a large altarpiece and functioned as the Bible for those who could not read. In order to enhance the illusion of space, Bernardino Butinone constructs the scene using linear perspective that was developed earlier in the century.

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