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Little Ursula Shrine

15th century

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There are barely thirty known painted wooden panels worldwide from the period from 1400 to 1430, the so called pre-Eyck period. This is one of them. The shrine exudes an endearing naïveté, so it is certainly possible that a monk made and painted this reliquary. This is undoubtedly the modest forerunner of the ornately furnished Shrine of Ursula by Hans Memling. In 1489, the relics were transferred from this little shrine to Memling’s reliquary during a ceremony. Note that St Ursula allows the virgins to shelter under the finely decorated cloak.