This is a rich visual description of the Lord giving His Disciples Holy Communion of both His Body and His Blood, as He is dressed as a bishop and is distributing the Holy Gifts from the holy altar. The gold background is luminous and almost shimmers behind the tapestry of forms to the forefront, and complements the many colors present, especially the reds, greens, whites, and browns. The Disciples are subdued and reverent, and attentive to the revelation of this great Mystery. This is the beginning of Life.
The Christian Faith is not just a philosophical tradition of theological truths with manifold rituals attached, as is the case for many other religions. It directly imparts God to its adherents through Holy Communion into their very beings and bodies, for this is both physical and spiritual food that grows through all Eternity. Christ unites Himself to us directly through Communion.
The icon was painted on the Island of Corfu in 1665. All twelve Disciples are present, but Judas, already darkened with sin, hides in the back, and will shortly receive these Gifts unworthily. As for us, “Of Thy Mystical Supper accept me today….”