The J. Paul Getty Museum

The Entombment

Object Details


The Entombment


Simon Bening (Flemish, about 1483 - 1561)




Bruges, Belgium (Place Created)


about 1525–1530


Tempera colors, gold paint, and gold leaf on parchment

Object Number:

Ms. Ludwig IX 19 (83.ML.115), fol. 328v


Leaf: 16.8 × 11.4 cm (6 5/8 × 4 1/2 in.)

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Object Description

In this miniature, presented as though seen through the frame of an arched doorway, Christ's family and friends say their final goodbyes and place Christ's body in a tomb. Sadness fills the scene, evident not only in the faces of the mourners but also in the gray tones of the gloomy gothic structure. The stormy skies in the border of the facing page reinforce the somber effect.

The tenderness with which the mourners treat Christ's body evokes a sympathetic response in the viewer. Devotional treatises of the period would have asked the reader to imagine the kind of details seen in the miniature: the man on the left lowering Christ's legs into the tomb, the woman behind him who kisses his hand one last time, and Saint John comforting the Virgin.

Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts (July 1 to September 30, 1984)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), July 1 to September 30, 1984
From Memling to Pourbus (August 14 to October 25, 1998)
  • De Stedelijke Musea Van Brugge (Bruges), August 14 to October 25, 1998
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
The Old Testament in Medieval Manuscript Illumination (June 1 to August 8, 2010)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), June 1 to August 8, 2010