Skip to main content

Barnaba da Modena, 'Pentecost', 1377 (?)

Key facts
Full title Pentecost
Artist Barnaba da Modena
Artist dates active 1361 - 1386
Date made 1377 (?)
Medium and support Egg tempera on wood
Dimensions 54.4 × 50.1 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1895
Inventory number NG1437
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Barnaba da Modena

Christ’s disciples were gathered together 50 days after his death when, according to the Bible, a strong wind began to blow. Flames like ‘tongues of fire’ appeared on their heads and they were filled with the Holy Ghost (Acts 2: 1–4). This event, called Pentecost, was when the disciples were given the divine authority to preach about Christ and his message.

Here, the Holy Ghost is represented as a tiny white dove above the Virgin Mary’s head and we can see the double-tongued flames on the disciples' heads. It is very likely that it was one of a series of scenes that made up a larger work, probably a triptych (a picture made up of three panels). In the church of San Giovanni Battista in Alba there is a picture of the Virgin and Child signed by Barnaba di Modena and dated 1377. It may have been the central panel of this triptych.

Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download a low-resolution copy of this image for personal use.

License this image

License and download a high-resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low-resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Download low-resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo