Catherine of Cleves Has a Case of the Mondays


From the Morgan Library & Museum comes this page from the Hours of Catherine of Cleves, Monday Matins “Office of the Dead.” Even in the 15th century, Mondays had a grim association.

The Morgan describes it thus:

As a man dies, his wife offers him a candle, a doctor examines his urine, and his son conspires against him. This mercenary heir is shown again, raiding his father’s coffers in the bottom border. On the right is purgatory, the place to which the dying man hopes to go. There his soul, like those depicted, will be cleansed of sin in expiating, if painful, fire.

The Office of the Dead was said for souls in purgatory (on the first Mondays of Advent and Lent, and on All Souls, among other days), even though this looks more like hell:

More on the Hours of Catherine of Cleves. 

 

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