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Denise Poncher before a Vision of Death
Master of the Chronique scandaleuse (French, active about 1493 - 1510)
Paris, France (Place Created)
Tempera colors, ink and gold on parchment
Ms. 109 (2011.40), fol. 156
Leaf: 13.3 × 8.7 cm (5 1/4 × 3 7/16 in.)
Denise Poncher is depicted kneeling with her prayer book before Death, a terrifying skeleton covered in rotting flesh and holding numerous sickles. The jarring contrast between her innocent loveliness and the horrific specter looming above her is heightened by the presence of three victims lying on the ground nearby, who Death has already taken.
This striking image was likely a reminder of mortality and the importance of prayer in protecting the soul.
Heaven, Hell, and Dying Well: Images of Death in the Middle Ages (May 29 to August 12, 2012)
- The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), May 29 to August 12, 2012
Illuminating Women in the Medieval World (June 20 to September 17, 2017)
- The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), June 20 to September 17, 2017