Nov 2, 2016

Miniature from a Mariegola: The Flagellation

Miniature from a Mariegola: The Flagellation

c. 1365–75

Tempera and gold on parchment

Sheet: 29.5 x 21 cm (11 5/8 x 8 1/4 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1950.374


Did you know?

Although dark in appearance now, the column in the center was originally painted to resemble green marble.


This miniature shows a moment of Christ’s Passion. After receiving his death sentence, Jesus was bound to a column, mocked, and tortured. While two fearsome henchmen beat Jesus with rods, he seems to look directly at the viewer and make a connection with them. The leaf comes from a rule book of a Venetian scuole, a mariegola. Scuole were guilds and lay associations mainly for religious purposes but also for trades and crafts. Five of them were associations of flagellants, a radical movement that became particularly popular since the 1350s in the wake of the Black Death. Christ’s physical suffering served as their model for self-chastisement.

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