Les Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry

The Ark of God Carried into the Temple

Folio 29r

The miniature by the Limbourgs illustrates a verse from Psalm XXIII: "Lift up your gates, O ye princes, and be ye lifted up, O eternal gates: and the King of Glory shall enter in."
Four men, Zadok, Abiathat, Ahimaaz, and Jonathan, carry the Ark of God, symbol of the Divine Presence, which David had ordered returned to Jerusalem at the time of Absalom's rebellion, when he withdrew to the desert ( II Samuel XV: 24-29).
The Ark is represented as a goldwork reliquary, similar to those found in medieval churches. Exotic coiffures and flowing beards accentuate the figures' oriental appearance.
The building's flying buttresses and rose window, of which only the lower part is visible, recall contemporaneous French architecture; the entranceway itself is from a different period,recognizable in many of the other miniatures.
The paving reappears in other illuminations such as the Visitation (folio 38v), or the Entry into Jerusalem (folio 173v). The blue and gold background ornamentation resembles that in folios 45v, 168v, and 171r.

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