The Legend of Saint Ursula of Cologne

Artist: 
Master of the (Bruges) Legend of the Holy Ursula
Dated: 
1482
Dimensions: 
120 cm x 155.5 cm
Inventory number: 
0000.GRO1542.I-1545.I
Museum:
Groeninge Museum Bruges
Category:
Category A: Flemish primitives
Subcategory:
15th century Saints
Keyword:
Religious scenes
Format:
Polyptychs

The two paintings make up the panels of an altarpiece that was devoted to Saint Ursula and the 11.000 virgins. The middle panel, that presumably showed Ursula with the virgins under her mantle, has gone lost. On the interior side of the panels, with great precision, the life story of Ursula according to the Legenda Aurea is depicted. From left to right we see on the uppermost row, first her being married off and then her pilgrimage to Rome. On the lowermost row, it is visible how she and her 11.000 virgins were murdered by the Huns on their return to Cologne. This side of the panels is crowned by the church fathers depicted in grisaille. Above, we see the Annunciation.
The Master of the (Bruges) Legend of the Holy Ursula was a highly productive, yet regrettably anonymous master who was active in Bruges at the end of the 15th Century. The eponym is given to the painting in the Groeninge Museum.