The refectory

Jan-Christiaan Hansche

In 1679, Abbot Libert de Pape asked the renowned craftsman and stuccoist Jan-Christiaan Hansche to install a grand and beautifully elaborated ceiling decoration in the renovated refectory of the monastery community.

Eating together

With the abbot, he came up with an iconographic plan for his ceiling with scenes from the Old and New Testament – all related to eating, of course, given the space’s function. For religious communities, eating together was and is very important. It reminds them of the community spirit and the Last Supper – the meal that Christ enjoyed on Maundy Thursday with his disciples and which symbolises the Eucharist. So it’s not without reason that Hansche depicts this vivid and detailed scene in the refectory’s central bay. Praying and celebrating the Eucharist together is without doubt the essence of monastery life.

 

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