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Tondal Suffers a Seizure at Dinner
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This image is available for download, without charge, under the Getty's Open Content Program.

Attributed to Simon Marmion
French, Valenciennes, 1475
Tempera colors, gold leaf, gold paint, and ink on parchment

MS. 30, FOL. 7

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The narrator of The Visions of the Knight Tondal began his cautionary tale with a prologue: Lord Tondal was young of age and of a very noble house...But he had one thing about him, which I cannot mention without sadness, that he was so confident in his youth, in his good looks, and in his strength, that to the salvation of his soul he never gave a thought....

The miniature at the top of the page represents the first pivotal moment in the story, when Tondal becomes ill at a banquet. The artist, Simon Marmion, set the scene in an upper-class dining hall with a long table, many hovering attendants, and richly attired guests. In the center, Tondal, with his right arm "extended toward a platter of food to help himself," clutches his left hand to his chest. About to collapse, he tells the group that he has had a vision that he is about to die

In this scene, Marmion focused on the descriptive details of a familiar domestic setting and painted the scene with bright, lyrical tones. In contrast, the Hell scenes that follow are more inventive and painted in vivid colors with sharp contrasts.

Detail Views

Marriage knot in the border
Marriage knot in the border

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