All Saints
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Workshop of the Boucicaut Master
French, Paris, about 1415 - 1420
Tempera colors, gold paint, gold leaf, and ink on parchment bound between wood boards covered with white pigskin
8 1/16 x 5 13/16 in.
MS. 22, FOL. 257

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Holy men and women robed in the rich, elegant colors of rose, burgundy, gold, orange, and blue illustrate a prayer to All Saints. Their objects identify the saints in the front row. Saint Lawrence, in the vestments of a deacon, holds the grill on which he was tortured and killed. John the Baptist gestures toward a lamb, which alludes to his pronouncement about Christ: "Behold the Lamb of God." Saint Peter's key symbolizes the authority Christ granted him, saying "I will give to you the keys to the kingdom of heaven." Saint Catherine of Alexandria holds a wheel and a sword, reminders of the tortures she suffered for her faith.

By individualizing the saints' features and interspersing staffs, crosses, and martyr's palms among them, the anonymous illuminator known as the Boucicaut Master varied the rather formal construction of the miniature's repetitious lines of halos.