Slaying of St. Peter Martyr
Prayer Book of Anne de Bretagne
Illuminated by Jean Poyer
126 x 80 mm
The Pierpont Morgan Library, Purchased in 1905
MS M.50 (fol. 24v)
This prayer book was commissioned by Anne de Bretagne, wife of two successive kings of France, Charles VIII and Louis XII, to teach her son, the dauphin Charles-Orland (1492–1495), his catechism. It was painted in Tours by Jean Poyer, an artist documented as working for the queen. The book is richly illustrated, and its thirty-four airy, light-flooded miniatures are among the most delicate examples of late-fifteenth-century art.
Slaying of St. Peter Martyr (fol. 24v, left)
St. Peter of Verona's fame as a preacher and miracle worker was such that Pope Gregory IX appointed him inquisitor general for the Milanese territories. The saint, depicted here in the white habit and black cloak of the Dominican order, was assassinated on 6 April 1252 by killers hired by the heretical Cathari.
Peter was slain by a fatal blow to the head: His smashed skull is one of the prized relics housed by St. Eustorgio's in Milan.