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Master of the Dominican Effigies
Italian, Florence, about 1340
Tempera and gold on parchment
16 15/16 x 12 1/2 in.

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This miniature depicts the event in which the Holy Spirit descends on Christ's disciples, endowing them with the ability to speak foreign languages and preach throughout the world. Christ's disciples react to the event in diverse ways: one reads from a book, some hold up a finger in exclamation, one confers with a friend, and still others look up in silent awe. The scene takes place not inside a house as recounted in the Bible but underneath a Gothic tabernacle with a starred vault, which lends it an almost liturgical or ceremonial tone.

The miniature comes from a laudario of the Company of Sant'Agnese. The laudario contained music to be performed by a group of pious laypeople, in this case a group devoted to Saint Agnes. The members gathered together for worship and also performed charitable works.