MS M.399, fol. 338v

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Da Costa hours
Illuminated by Simon Bening (1483/84–1561)

Ghent, Belgium
ca. 1515
172 x 125 mm

Purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan (1837–1913), 1910

MS M.399, fol. 338v

Ursula of Cologne: Massacre of Ursula and virgins—A soldier loads an arrow in a crossbow. Flanking him, two soldiers aim bows and arrows at a crowned Ursula, who is glancing upward, and several virgins, many of whom are pierced by arrows and dead. They are within a ship, along with Pope Cyricus, wearing a triple-crowned tiara, a woman wearing a headdress (Gerasina of Sicily?), and two men, one of whom is falling over the side of the boat. All the figures within the ship are nimbed. In the background on shore, men aim bows and arrows at two more ships carrying nimbed virgins. In the distance are buildings of a city within a landscape.

The scene is within an illusionistic wood frame.


Image courtesy of Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, Graz/Austria.