Mass of the Virgin, fol. 369v

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. 369v

Scene, Liturgical: Celebration of Mass―Two deacons, both tonsured and wearing vestments, are kneeling and lifting the chasuble of a priest, who is also tonsured and wearing vestments. One deacon holds candles in his left hand. A bell is on the ground beside him. The other deacon swings a thurible. The priest elevates the host above the altar, on which are two candles and a book open to a miniature of the Crucifixion including the Virgin Mary and Evangelist John. The altar is surmounted by a retable carved with figures including in the upper section the Virgin Mary and the Christ Child. Four columns surmounted by angels surround altar. One figure kneels at the left side of the alter and another at the right. The scene is framed by a border depicting a woman in a window of a building conversing with a falconer. He is standing below the window within a courtyard and has a falcon perched on his left arm. A dog wearing collar sits beside him. Behind him is a garden enclosed by a lattice-work fence.


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