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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).
Mass for Saints Peter and Paul
Martyrdom of Saints Peter and Paul, Folio 215v
In the foreground, Paul’s kneeling body spurts blood as his nearby decapitated head stares up lifelessly. According to legend, his head bounced twice, and springs arose in the places it had touched, here represented by two pools just above. There are different interpretations of the message being whispered into Nero’s ear.