Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

De broer van de koning met de dood bedreigd: een 'exemplum iustitiae' in de vijftiende- en zestiende-eeuwse Nederlandse kunst

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Oud Holland - Quarterly for Dutch Art History

A South Netherlandish panel in the collection of the Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, painted around 1475-85, can be identified as one of the few surviving fifteenth-century justice pictures. Bruyn succeeded in tracing the painting's enigmatic iconography to a mediaeval 'exemplum', The King's Brother Threatened with Death, in which elements from The Sword of Damocles and from the story of the trumpet of death in the legend of Barlaam and Josaphat are combined into a single history. In the Gesta Romanorum, under the heading 'De timore extremi iudicii', the tale is told of a wise and righteous king who threatens to have his frivolous brother executed as a means of demonstrating his own state of mind: the thought of the Last Judgement makes it impossible for him to abandon himself to the pleasures of earthly life. In written sources this 'exemplum' is often associated with 'righteousness', becoming more closely interwoven with the practice of secular justice as time passed. In the fourteenth century, for example, it featured in a moralizing discourse on good and righteous government (the Ludus Scaccorum) and in the fifteenth century as a model of god-fearing conduct - even in a code of law (the Wetboek van Den Briel). This development corresponds closely with the literary history of other judgement scenes, such as the Judgement of Cambyses. The cited literary sources stress that judges should be filled with 'Timor Dei' as exemplified by the story of the king and his brother. The tenor of the 'exemplum' is a reminder that the secular judge will eventually have to answer for his actions to the Supreme Judge, an idea which was conveyed in town halls by representations of the Last Jugement. In view of the written tradition it is quite likely that the panel in Sarasota and two other representations of The King's Brother Threatment with Death - a drawing attributed to Lucas van Leyden and a stained-glass window - served as (designs for) a judgement picture. This interpretation is substantiated by sixteenth-century pictorial sources. In both a South German drawing and a print by Theodoor de Bry the story of the king's brother is combined with a number of familiar 'exempla iustitiae'.


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Oud Holland - Quarterly for Dutch Art History — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation