The J. Paul Getty Museum

The Death of Brunhilde, Queen of France

Object Details

Title:

The Death of Brunhilde, Queen of France

Artists/Makers:

Boucicaut Master (French, active about 1390 - 1430)

Giovanni Boccaccio (Italian, 1313 - 1375)

Culture:

French

Place:

Paris, France (Place Created)

Date:

about 1413–1415

Medium:

Tempera colors, gold leaf, gold paint, and ink on parchment

Object Number:

Ms. 63 (96.MR.17), fol. 282

Dimensions:

Leaf: 42 × 29.6 cm (16 9/16 × 11 5/8 in.)

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Object Description

With his sword in hand, Clotaire III, king of France, passively watches the punishment of his mother Brunhilde for her crimes of adultery and murder. Falsely accused by her enemies, she was tried, publicly humiliated, and sentenced to this horrible death without any intervention from her son.

The Boucicaut Master depicted a horseman dragging Brunhilde, whose hair was tied to his horse's tail. The queen was later drawn and quartered, with horses tied to her hair, one foot, and one hand pulling her apart. In a twist of fate, the executioners, who had once honored Brunhilde as queen, washed their hands on her robes.

Exhibitions
Exhibitions
Outcasts: Prejudice and Persecution in the Medieval World (January 30 to April 8, 2018)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), January 30 to April 8, 2018