This piece is part of the Hortus Deliciarum, called ‘Ladder of Virtues’. The book compilation of 336 images is by Herrad of Landsberg, and she began work on it in 1167 in her convent. This is a copy of the original, as the original work was destroyed in a fire. The manuscript was made for a learning tool for the nuns as they completed their training. The ‘Ladder of Virtues’ is about a man who climbs to the top of the ladder of Virtue, then he looks behind him and sees a beautiful garden. Overcome by desire, he goes back down to the earth, because he prefers the earthly to the heavenly paradise. In this time period of the reformation, it became more common to interpret Satan in psychological terms, where he can be found in mans own being as temptation; vanity, greed, power, and worldly pleasures. These people who are climbing the ladder are then jumping off, back to the earth, as they have been tempted back by earthly desires.


Shared by: Tierney Bracewell
Image Credit: http://www.oberlin.edu/images/Art315/Art315e.html
Reuse License: Rights Status Unknown