Master of the Munich Golden Legend ca. 1400 – 1460

The Tower of Babel

illumination (263 × 184 mm) — c. 1415-1430 Museum British Library, London

Master of the Munich Golden Legend biography

This work is linked to Genesis 11:4

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The higher the tower builders get, the more they quarrel. On the top of the tower angels warn them not to continue their haughty plans.

In the foreground to the left a man with a grey beard looks rather sceptic at the tower. The man with the mantle is probably Nimrod, the king who commissioned the tower.

Most people in the image are hard at work. But in the top of the tower workers are fighting. Angels sow discord and throw rocks, people fall from the tower. This is how the artist choose to display the confusion of tongues, God's punishment for the construction of the tower.

Read more on the Tower of Babel.

This is folio 17v from the Bedford Book of Hours.

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