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Shrine of St Ursula by Hans Memling, 1489

Pilgrims' Arrival in Cologne, the Life of St Ursula
by Hans Memling, c.1489
Martyrdom of St Ursula by Hans Memling, c.1489

Source: p217 The Atlas of Medieval Man by Colin Platt

The Stories from the Life of St Ursula
The elements of the story: the arrival of the ambassadors of the pagan King of England at the Court of the Christian King of Brittany, to ask for the hand of his daughter Ursula for the son of their Lord; the conditions Ursula sets out before accepting the marriage proposal; the ambassadors return to the English Court; the farewells and Ursula's pilgrimage; the dream in which Ursula is forewarned of her martyrdom; her encounter with Pope Cyriacus in Rome; her arrival in Cologne, occupied by the Huns; the slaughter of the pilgrims and Ursula's funeral; St Ursula in glory above the host of martyrs.

The Shrine of St. Ursula is a carved and gilded wooden reliquary containing oil on panel inserts (87x33x91 cm) by Hans Memling. Dating to c. 1489, the work was commissioned by the Hospital of St. John, is housed in the Hans Memling Museum in the Old St. John's Hospital (Sint-Janshospitaal), Bruges in the Flemish Region of modern-day Belgium. The shrine is in the shape of a Gothic chapel, according to a scheme already used in goldsmith. It has a steeply pointed cover, as typical of northern European countries, with three painted tondoes on each side.



Other 15th Century Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers
Index of Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers