The sacrifice of Melchizedek, pre 1545

The sacrifice of Melchizedek

The sacrifice of Melchizedek pre 1545 - Museum-Ancient Treasure of the Holy House of Loreto

The picture represents the meeting between priests led by Melchizedek, a man of peace, and the army of Abraham, a man of God and a symbol of obedient and unconditional faith. Against the backdrop of a landscape shaded by trees and dotted with hares on the run, Abraham is depicted on the right, accompanied by his warriors, he approaches the altar on which are placed loaves of bread and the golden vase of wine, for the ritual offering. On the left, with his retinue, is Melchizedek, king of Salem, with his hands raised to the sky, as he prepares to make the sacrifice of bread and wine, foreshadowing the Eucharistic rite. The composition is similar to the inlay of the Choir worked by Lorenzo Lotto and Giovan Francesco Capoferri in Santa Maria Maggiore in Bergamo. The painting shows a colour technique that proceeds by clots of colour, in a fascinating interplay of light and shade.

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