Great Hours of Anne of Brittany

Great Hours of Anne of Brittany Of St Cosmas and St Damian, f. 173v

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Of St Cosmas and St Damian, f. 173v

This painting shows the twin brothers – despite them being considered to be twins in hagiography, Jean Bourdichon treats them as individuals with different physical traits – with haloes inside an apse with alternating porphyry and green jasper plaques separated by Corinthian pilasters beneath a scallop-shaped, barrel vault. St Cosmas, possibly the saint on the left, wears a red bonnet, a purple overcoat featuring two fur-lined tabs with rounded ends under the collar, encircling it to hide the seam, linked to a hood. He is conducting a uroscopy for his left hand holds a wide-necked, round, glass phial of urine – to check its sedimentation according to Galen’s theory of the elements – which he points at with his right hand. St Damian is garbed in a scarlet cassock with a fur collar and cuffs and a dark blue hood over the black cap on his head. He holds a blue and white ceramic jar for storing medicinal products in his hands. Showing the men in the foreground in a three-quarter view seems to push them forwards and highlights their presence.


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