The Worship of the Five Wounds
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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.

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In contrast to the immediately preceding miniatures of the Passion, which were sorrowful in tone, this illumination ends Albrecht of Brandenburg's prayer book on a more hopeful note while continuing the Passion-based themes that run throughout most of the manuscript. A group of adoring angels and a crowd of people representing various classes--kings, clergy, aristocrats, and monks--regard the extraordinary vision of the five wounds of Christ set in the middle of vibrant pink and gold circles of light. In this scene, an unusual version of the Second Coming of Christ, the body that had been destroyed has become a symbol of power. Christ's wounds are no longer objects of sorrow but of reverence and awe.