Folio 156r

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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).

Heraclius and the True Cross
Heraclius Returns with The Cross, Folio 156r

According to The Golden Legend, the seventh-century Byzantine emperor Heraclius rescued the cross from Persia and returned it to Jerusalem. He is shown here arriving in an elaborate chariot, based on a representation that appears on a medal owned by Jean de Berry. The gates of the city shut at his approach, for Christ entered the city on a lowly ass, not a horse-drawn carriage.