Oil on canvas, 84cm by 68.5cm.
Carlo Dolci was one of John, 5th Earl of Exeter’s favourite artists.
This painting was probably purchased by the earl in Florence on his third Grand Tour in 1683-4.
Dolci was greatly admired for his meticulous technique and the intense religiosity of his work and this was long regarded as the finest painting in the Burghley Collection.
Its importance is reflected in the highly elaborate 18th Century carved giltwood frame chosen for it.
It is listed in a 1690 addendum to the 1688 Burghley Inventory: ‘1 picture of a Christs Consecrating the Bread and Wine no frame….by Carlo Dulci.’