Christ Blessing Saint Hedwig; Saint Hedwig Washing Her Grandson's Face


The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

As part of a sequence of illustrations from the life of Saint Hedwig of Silesia, the upper half of this miniature depicts one of her visions, witnessed by a nun peering from a doorway. Saint Hedwig had prayed to Jesus to allow the nuns of the convent at Trebnitz to continue their good work. The inscription describes the miracle that occurred: "Lifting the right hand and arm from the wood of the cross, this image of the crucified one blesses Saint Hedwig." Jesus' blessing is written on the speech scroll: "Your prayer is heard. Your request is granted."

The artist rendered the figure of Jesus with a more refined technique than that used on the other figures. Subtle modeling suggests roundness on Jesus' face and the folds of his transparent drapery, while Hedwig's face and gown are much less well defined. The statue of Christ on the cross thus seems more real than the living woman below, bringing Hedwig's vision of the crucified Christ to life for the viewer.

The scene below shows Hedwig in a characteristic act of humility. She washes herself and her grandson with the same water used by the nuns to bathe their feet.


  • Title: Christ Blessing Saint Hedwig; Saint Hedwig Washing Her Grandson's Face
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 1353
  • Location Created: Silesia, Poland
  • Physical Dimensions: Leaf: 34.1 × 24.8 cm (13 7/16 × 9 3/4 in.)
  • Type: Folio
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Tempera colors, colored washes, and ink on parchment
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 83.MN.126.24v
  • Culture: Silesian
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Ms. Ludwig XI 7, fol. 24v
  • Creator Display Name: Unknown maker
  • Classification: Manuscripts (Documents)

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