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The Five Kings Hanged (Joshua 10:26)

Accession Number

The Five Kings Hanged (Joshua 10:26)


Object Creation Date
15th century

Medium & Support
hand-colored woodcut on paper

14 ⅝ in x 10 in (37.15 cm x 25.4 cm);19 ⅜ in x 14 ⅜ in (49.21 cm x 36.51 cm)

Credit Line
Museum Purchase

Label copy

These two works represent di erent traditions of book making and decorating in the later Middle Ages. The miniature of Pope Boniface is richly painted with bright colors on vellum (animal skin), and decorated with shimmering gold leaf; in certain white areas of the image glair, or egg white, also appears to have been added, perhaps to enhance visual interest. The pope stands at the center of the symmetrical composition overseeing the activities of the learned men around him. This image, in which books and scrolls abound, comes from a late fourteenth-century illuminated manuscript of cannon law (which governs a church), a type of book that was often lavishly decorated. Originally it would have been accompanied by text, but it has been cut away.
Unlike the manuscript illustration, which was made by hand for a single copy of a book, the woodcut belonged to a book that was produced in multiple copies using a print technology and likely reached a wider audience. It narrates the story of the Amorite Massacre described in the Bible (Joshua 10:26), when Joshua and the Israelites hanged the ve kings of neighboring cities. While the miniature of Pope Boniface is carefully painted and detailed, the woodcut is loosely colored in a limited palette. Despite the di erences in execution and intended audience, both illustrations were meant to represent and provide commentary on the surrounding text. 

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area

If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form. Keywords
Text-based Art

6 Related Resources

Death and Dying
(Part of 8 Learning Collections)
Hebrew Bible / Old Testament
(Part of 4 Learning Collections)
Introduction to Manuscripts and Early Print
(Part of 2 Learning Collections)
Northern Renaissance and Reformation-Era Art
(Part of 2 Learning Collections)
Miniature Paintings Across Cultures 
(Part of: Visual Cultures of Islam )

& Author Notes

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