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Belles Heures of Jean de France, duc de Berry, 1405–1408/9. Herman, Paul, and Jean de Limbourg (Franco-Netherlandish, active in France by 1399–1416). French; Made in Paris. Ink, tempera, and gold leaf on vellum; 9 3/8 x 6 5/8 in. (23.8 x 16.8 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Cloisters Collection, 1954 (54.1.1).
Hours of the Passion
Christ Pierced with the Lance, Folio 145r
In the second Crucifixion scene, we see the two thieves, blood issuing from their broken limbs, and the Roman soldier Longinus piercing Christ’s side with his lance. In a rarely depicted detail from The Golden Legend, a popular thirteenth-century book of saints’ lives written by Jacobus de Voragine, Longinus is shown with impaired vision, with a companion’s arms helping to direct the lance. Three other soldiers at the lower right cast lots for Christ’s garment.