Enviable Possessions: The Thirteenth-Century Gemellions of Limoges
Paper by Michelle Al-Ferzly
Given at the 22nd Annual Graduate Student Symposium on the History of Art, on March 24, 2017
Introduction: One of the most common images of ritual hand-washing in the medieval period depicts the Gospel account of the Roman procurator Pontius Pilate washing his hands after condemning Jesus to death. As seen in the illustration from the thirteenth-century, Pilate is shown with both arms outstretched. Facing him stands an assistant, who has a towel slung around his neck and reaches downt to the floor. In one hand the assistant holds a golden basin, infromwhich he pours water over Pilate’s joined hands. The attendant’s other hand is wrapped in a towel, and supports a second matching basin, from which the liquid catches as it runs off.