The Adoration of the Eucharist

Willem Vrelantearly 1460s

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The original owner of this manuscript and his family kneel before an altar in adoration of the Eucharist, shown in an elaborate gold monstrance. The image introduces a short service called the Office of the Holy Sacrament. Although the patrons of the book have not been identified, the richness of their fashionable attire and the costliness of the decorated book itself indicate that the couple was well-to-do. The patrons' presence in the image suggests that they felt a particular veneration for the Eucharist. The consecrated bread is thus shown here not in the context of an official Mass service but on the altar of a small family chapel. Although clearly divided by gender on either side of the altar, the couple and other household members are unified in their adoration of the Eucharist.

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