The Glory of Good Monks and Nuns


The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

Once in paradise, the angel and the soul of Tondal come to a place filled with silken tents and pavilions, from which music emanates. Although Tondal is allowed to look inside, he is forbidden to enter. This place is reserved for monks and nuns who lived their lives in complete obedience and chastity and now share the company of angels and dwell in the presence of the Holy Trinity. The artist chose to give the viewer only a partial glimpse into one of the pavilions. The souls of the good monks and nuns, resembling angels and playing musical instruments, are visible but the elaborate decorations described in the text are not revealed. Instead, the slightly raised curtain and the concealed interior hint at the privileged nature of the place. In this miniature set in Paradise, the artist employed pastel blue, green, and pink tones, creating a strong contrast with the dark scenes of Hell.


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