Villagers on Their Way to Church

Object Details

Title:

Villagers on Their Way to Church

Artist/Maker(s):

Simon Bening (Flemish, about 1483 - 1561)

Culture:

Flemish

Date:

about 1550

Medium:

Tempera colors and gold paint on parchment

Dimensions:

Leaf: 5.6 x 9.6 cm (2 3/16 x 3 3/4 in.)

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As the local parish church prepares for services, villagers and rural peasants make their way down the path. In the distance, fields, gently rolling hills, buildings, and groves of trees give shape to the landscape. The candlelit procession inside the church, as well as the candles held by the approaching villagers, suggest the celebration of Candlemas, a church holiday observed the second of February.

An earlier owner probably cut the miniature from the lower border of the calendar of a book of hours. Despite its small size, Bening's landscape achieves a monumentality associated with larger contemporary panel paintings, where the genre of landscape painting was developing along similar lines.

Related Works
Exhibitions
Flemish Illumination of the Late Middle Ages (November 3, 1998 to January 17, 1999)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), November 3, 1998 to January 17, 1999
Illuminating the Renaissance: The Triumph of Flemish Manuscript Painting in Europe (June 17, 2003 to February 22, 2004)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), June 17 to September 7, 2003
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), November 29, 2003 to February 22, 2004
Building the Medieval World: Architecture in Illuminated Manuscripts (March 2 to May 16, 2010)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), March 2 to May 16, 2010
Illuminated Manuscripts from Belgium and the Netherlands (August 24, 2010 to February 6, 2011)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), August 24, 2010 to February 6, 2011