The House of Phristinus

Object Details


The House of Phristinus


Simon Marmion (Flemish, active 1450 - 1489)




Valenciennes France Europe Ghent Belgium Europe (Place created)




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

Object Number:

Ms. 30, fol. 21v


Leaf: 36.3 × 26.2 cm (14 5/16 × 10 5/16 in.)

See more

See less

Traveling through darkness, the angel and the soul of Tondal arrive at an oven-shaped building as tall as a mountain. As fire spews forth from an opening in this structure, devils skewer all who come within reach, dismembering them and casting them into the fire. Again the soul of Tondal is told that if he does not change his ways, he will suffer for his sins. He hears the crying and moaning of innumerable souls who are racked by insatiable hunger and whose genitals are rotten with worms. As in the rest of the story, the punishment meted out to the gluttons and fornicators in this portion of hell is cleverly tailored to the individual sins. The artist used color to distinguish the calm radiance of the angel, in a blue gown with gold highlights, from the demon executioners, who are barely distinguishable from their dark and fiery world.

Related Works
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
Radiant Darkness: The Art of Nocturnal Light (April 24 to July 22, 2007)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), April 24 to July 22, 2007