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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).
Saint Catherine Cycle
Saint Catherine Tied to a Column, Folio 17r
Catherine’s calm contrasts with the energetic action of the men tying her to the column for scourging. She is stripped to the waist, and her bulging belly relates to a northern ideal of beauty, not pregnancy. The composition suggests a comparison with the flagellation of Christ, and God the Father approving the scene further affirms her sanctity.