Colin McCahon

Still life with altar I

Still life with altar I by Colin McCahon

Artwork Detail

On the eve of his crucifixion, Christ shared with his disciples the ‘Last Supper’. Offering them bread he said ‘“This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after supper, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant of my blood.”’ (Luke 22: 19-20)

Following in this tradition Christians take Holy Communion as part of their worship. Over time a different understanding of what occurs during this sacrament has developed amongst the denominations. These range from the Catholic belief in transubstantiation, whereby in the Eucharist the bread and wine are transformed into the body and blood of Christ, through to those denominations that see it as a spiritual memorial. (McCahon's Visible Mysteries, 2004)

Still life with altar I
Colin McCahon
Production date
acrylic on board
536 x 1083 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, on loan from a private collection
Accession no
Other ID
cm000623 Catalogue Number
Copying restrictions apply
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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