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The Defenders of the Eucharist
This piece is the companion painting to the “Four Evangelists.” Here, Rubens arranged the figures of saints who defended the doctrine of the Eucharist. From right to left we see St. Jerome, dressed as a cardinal and holding a copy of the Bible, St. Norbert, who carries the sacrament of the Eucharist bundled beneath his robes, St. Thomas Aquinas pointing towards heaven (much like St. Matthew in “The Four Evangelists”), St. Clare, depicted by Rubens with the features of his commissioner Isabel, St. Gregory, dressed in papal robes, and finally St. Ambrose and St. Augustine who both defended the Blessed Sacrament in their lifetime.

© Courtesy of the The Ringling Museum of Art