Saint Ursula's Attendants Baptised By Pope Siricius
Maker and role
Artist: Master of the Legend of Saint Ursula, Flemish, active ca. 1470-1490
late 15th century
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This painting depicts Ursula and her attendants inside a Gothic church. Pope Siricius is baptizing a group of the virgin entourage as Ursula, crowned and adorned with jewels, kneels by the baptismal font. A cardinal and bishop stand behind the Pope, and a group of richly-dressed onlookers witness the scene. Kneeling in the lower right corner is the individual who commissioned the painting, her coat of arms beside her.
The detailed reproduction of the costumes and luminous quality of the figures create a lively juxtaposition against the sacred atmosphere of the architectural space. The spiritual and material are visually intertwined, as the figures perform a solemn act of ritual.