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Border with Naomi Grieving the Loss of Her Family
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Simon Bening
Flemish, Bruges, about 1525 - 1530
Tempera colors, gold paint, gold leaf, and ink on parchment
6 5/8 x 4 1/2 in.
MS. LUDWIG IX 19, FOL. 318

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Echoing Mary's feelings at the death of her son in the facing miniature, the Old Testament figure of Naomi kneels on the ground in grief before the bodies of her husband and two sons. The Book of Ruth begins with this story of Naomi being widowed and her two sons dying after they leave Bethlehem. Naomi returns to Bethlehem with her daughter-in-law Ruth and tells the people there not to call her Naomi, which means beautiful, but Mara, which means bitter. Her words are recorded in gold paint in the red square at the right.