Heraklios Approaching the Gates of Jerusalem with the True Cross
Not on view
In 1402 Jean de France, duc de Berry, acquired a gold medal representing the emperor Constantine and subsequently another with the likeness of the emperor Heraklius. The duke had gold copies of the two medals made and from these further copies were made of which the raised silver versions are thought to be the earliest. The Limbourg brothers, who had unfettered access to the duke’s extraordinary collections, clearly knew these medals. The scene of Heraklius approaching the gates of Jerusalem with the True Cross served as the model for their composition of the same subject in the Belles Heures (acc. no. 54.1.1a, b), a luxurious Book of Hours the duke commissioned them to illuminate.
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