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Orsines Presenting a Gift to Alexander and the Execution of Orsines
Master of the Jardin de vertueuse consolation and assistant (Flemish, active 3rd quarter of 15th century)
French and Flemish
Lille (written), France; Bruges (illuminated), Belgium (Place Created)
Tempera colors, gold leaf, gold paint, and ink on parchment
Ms. Ludwig XV 8 (83.MR.178), fol. 226
Leaf: 43.2 × 33 cm (17 × 13 in.)
Inside a palatial hall, Orsines, a Persian military leader, kneels before Alexander to offer a gift. As Quintus Curtius Rufus's text recounts, although Orsines gives lavish gifts to Alexander's retinue, he snubs Alexander's lover Bagoas. Furious at being spurned, Bagoas turns Alexander against Orsines. Consistent with his increasingly immoral behavior, Alexander, under the sway of his lover, orders Orsines's death. The execution takes place outdoors at the right. Here, as Alexander and Bagaos watch from the palace steps, an executioner raises his sword above the kneeling Orsines.
Although described in Curtius's account as a
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