The J. Paul Getty Museum

Euryalus Sends His First Letter to Lucretia

Object Details

Title:

Euryalus Sends His First Letter to Lucretia

Artist/Maker:

Unknown

Culture:

French

Place:

France (Place Created)

Date:

about 1460–1470

Medium:

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

Object Number:

Ms. 68 (2001.45), fol. 30

Dimensions:

Leaf: 17.6 × 11.4 cm (6 15/16 × 4 1/2 in.)

See more

See less

Object Description

This miniature portrays the deception and secretive communication necessary to an illicit love affair. It introduces the story of the adulterous passion between Euryalus, a member of the court of the Holy Roman Emperor, and a married Italian woman, Lucretia. In front, Euryalus presents his love letter to Nisus, a trusted go-between. Up the stairs at the left, Nisus approaches Lucretia; offended by the messenger's reputation, Lucretia tears up the letter and sends her on her way. At the far left, a woman in green escorts Nisus out the door. On the right, the repentant Lucretia gathers the torn letter and stores it in a trunk with her most sacred jewels. In the doorway at the back, Nisus reports back to Euryalus. Through this series of scenes, the artist creates a complex visual narrative, told with an almost dancelike elegance.

Exhibitions
Exhibitions
Chivalry in the Middle Ages (July 8 to November 30, 2014)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), July 8 to November 30, 2014