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Souls in Purgatory Magnet

3 x 3 inches

A striking image, this magnet will definitely serve as a reminder about the importance of daily penitence! A detail from the Hours of Catherine of Cleves, a dying man, tucked in bed, is offered a candle by his wife while he waits for a priest to perform Last Rites (religious rituals for those about to die). Without these sacraments, his soul cannot enter heaven but may be admitted to purgatory, depicted on the facing folio as a place of purification by fire as seen on this magnet. A doctor, a praying monk, and nuns surround the deathbed. Near the doorway, the dying man’s son converses with an acquaintance who may be encouraging him to seize his inheritance. Identifiable by his fashionable clothing, the heir reappears in the border, raiding his father’s money chest. The image stresses the futility of hoarding money and exposes the son’s greed.

This magnet is a product made to complement the exhibition Medieval Money, Merchants and Morality on view at the Morgan Library & Museum November 10, 2023 through March 10, 2024.