The Seven Sorrows of the Virgin

Simon Beningabout 1525 - 1530

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

In the center of the miniature, the Virgin sits on the ground with seven swords piercing her, each symbolizing one of the events related to Christ that brought her sorrow. The theme of the Seven Sorrows of the Virgin was meant to draw the viewer into Mary's thoughts and feelings as she reflected on her son's life and death. Moving clockwise from the bottom right around the central image, small narrative scenes represent the seven episodes: the Presentation in the Temple, the Flight into Egypt, the Dispute in the Temple, the Way to Calvary, the Crucifixion, the Lamentation, and the Entombment.


  • Title: The Seven Sorrows of the Virgin
  • Date Created: about 1525 - 1530
  • Location Created: Bruges, Belgium
  • Physical Dimensions: w11.4 x h16.8 cm
  • Type: Folio
  • Rights: http://www.getty.edu/legal/copyright.html
  • External Link: http://www.getty.edu/art/gettyguide/artObjectDetails?artobj=4329
  • Medium: "Tempera colors, gold paint, and gold leaf on parchment"
  • illuminator: Simon Bening (Flemish, about 1483 - 1561)
  • Terms of Use: http://www.getty.edu/legal/copyright.html
  • Subject: Donkeys, Christ Child, Crucifixion, Dispute in the Temple, Entombment, Flight into Egypt, Pietà, Presentation in the Temple, Way to Calvary, Saint Joseph, Holy Family, Pietà, Seven Sorrows, Joseph

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