The Torment of Unchaste Monks and Nuns

Object Details

Title:

The Torment of Unchaste Monks and Nuns

Artist/Maker:

Simon Marmion (Flemish, active 1450 - 1489)

Culture:

Franco-Flemish

Place:

Ghent Belgium Europe Valenciennes France Europe (Place created)

Date:

1475

Medium:

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

Dimensions:

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

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The angel points out to Tondal's soul the beast that tortures unchaste priests and nuns. After the beast devours the souls, he excretes them, dropping them onto a frozen pond. Once on the ice, the souls regain their bodily forms but now both women and men are made pregnant. As multiple creatures grow inside them, they eat the sinners' entrails. The sinners eventually give birth to hideous serpents, which emerge from all parts of their bodies. This torment is reserved not only for nuns and priests but for all men and women who are guilty of the sin of lust. As punishment for his lustful life, Tondal's soul goes through one cycle of this torment before the angel rescues him and they continue their journey.

Related Works
Exhibitions
"The Visions of Tondal" and Manuscripts from the Time of Margaret of York (April 17 to July 1, 1990)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), April 17 to July 1, 1990
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
Images of Violence in the Middle Ages (December 21 2004 to March 13, 2005)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), December 21, 2004 to March 13, 2005
Medieval Beasts (May 1 to July 29, 2007)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), May 1 to July 29, 2007