Death of Christ; Veil of the temple

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MS M.1151
Death of Christ; Veil of the temple
Bruges, Belgium, ca. 1509-1510.
Melvin R. Seiden Collection, 2006.
1 leaf : vellum, ill. ; 62 x 85 mm
From a prayerbook made for a member of the Spanish families of Enriquez and Ribera, probably Fadrique Enriques de Ribera, Marquess of Tarifa (1503) and knight of the Golden Fleece (1518); bought in 1988 by Peter Sharrer from a collection assembled in Spain in the 1960s; sold by Sharrer at Sotheby's (London, July 6, 2000, lot 35).

Ms. single leaf (cutting) from a prayerbook, written and illuminated in Bruges, Belgium, ca. 1509-1510.
Decoration: 1 miniature (in two compartments) depicting: in the left compartment the Crucifixion, with Christ at the moment of death with his head hanging forward, the Virgin with St. John and St. Mary Magdalene on the left, the richly-dressed centurion turning to his bearded companion at the lower right to say fearfully that truly this was the Son of God (Matthew 27:54); and in the right compartment the veil of the Temple rent in two at the very moment Christ died, from top to bottom according to Matthew 27:51, set in a romanesque church, the Ark of the Covenant on a table with marble pillars, the curtain before it in stripes of blue, yellow, red and white, with blue tassels, the two parts of the curtain tearing apart leaving the threads still breaking between the sections, coloured tiled floor, narrow liquid gold borders.
Artist: Simon Bening.
Miniature is laid down but apparently with text on the verso.
The prayerbook from which M.1151 was cut may have been Bening's first work for a Spanish patron. The manuscript included at least 9 full-page miniatures: in addition to M.1151, four were once in the collection of Paul Durrieu (1855-1925) and were described by Hindman in 1989, but have since been separated; two are in the Free Library of Philadelphia (J.F. Lewis Collection, M 6:1-2); and two emerged with the Arnhold Collection, were sold by Sotheby's (London, June 23, 1992, lot 22) and are now privately owned in Belgium. Other cuttings are in Cleveland and St. Louis.--Cf. PML files