Manuscript Leaf with Saint James the Greater, from a Book of Hours

South Netherlandish

Not on view

This single leaf was separated from the Suffrages of the Saints section of a book of hours, and celebrates Saint James the Greater. James is represented here with a staff and satchel, as if he were a religious pilgrim. St James’ shrine at Santiago de Compostella, at the northwest tip of Spain, was one of the most visited pilgrimage sites in Europe in the Middle Ages, and remains so today. Because of the belief that the body of the apostle James washed up on the shore nearby, the scallop shell became the emblem of the shrine. Here the manuscript border extends the theme of pilgrimage with the beautiful images of walking sticks, satchels and the scallop of St James’ shrine.

Manuscript Leaf with Saint James the Greater, from a Book of Hours, Tempera, ink, and shell gold on parchment, South Netherlandish

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