Marcello Venusti (1512-79), Pentecost

1573-79
Oil on canvas
Chapel of St. Catherine of Siena
Basilica of Santa Maria sopra Minerva

In Acts 2:1-4 a great wind comes upon the disciples, and tongues of fire appear on their heads. Medieval and Renaissance images usually include just the twelve apostles and Mary, despite the clear implication of the text that there were 120 "brethren." Venusti departs from this tradition and sets a large crowd against a vast sky of fire.

This is one of the chapel's paintings on the Mysteries of the Rosary. The "descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles" is the third of the so-called "glorious mysteries."

Read more about Pentecost.

Photographed at the basilica by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.