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Lieven van Lathem (Flemish, about 1430 - 1493)
Ghent (written), Belgium; Antwerp (illuminated), Belgium (Place Created)
Tempera colors, gold leaf, gold paint, silver paint, and ink on parchment
Ms. 37 (89.ML.35), fol. 43
Leaf: 12.4 × 9.2 cm (4 7/8 × 3 5/8 in.)
Within a deep landscape, saints approach from every direction. Ecclesiastical saints and kings stand on the left: Saint Jerome wears a cardinal's outfit and his lion crouches at his feet. The elderly hermit saints Anthony Abbot and Paul sit against rocky boulders on the right. In the middle ground, military saints in full armor ride gracefully along the center path, while behind them, female saints make their way down a hill at the right just as monastic saints do on the left. In the middle distance stands a draped cross surmounted by the lamb of God. In the semicircle at the top of the miniature, God the Father, crowned, enthroned, flanked by angels, and surrounded by saints, holds Jesus' dead body upon his lap.
In traditional representations of All Saints, the figures stand virtually undifferentiated in a row. The illuminator Lieven van Lathem broke with this tradition by dividing them into groups and setting them within a landscape. His creation of this deep panoramic landscape in an area of only three-by-two inches testifies to his exceptional skill. The miniature prefaces a prayer dedicated to All Saints.