Allegory of Chastity  

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Allegory of Chastity (1475) by Hans Memling
Allegory of Chastity (1475) by Hans Memling

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Allegory in the Middle Ages, chastity

Allegory of Chastity by Hans Memling (1475, oil on wood) [1] at the Musée Jacquemart-André.

It is also an allegory on claustration, cfr the papal decretal "Periculoso" of Pope Boniface VIII stating:

"Wishing to provide for the dangerous and abominable situation of certain nuns, who, casting off the reins of respectability and impudently abandoning nunnish modesty and the natural bashfulness of their sex […] we do firmly decree […] that nuns collectively and individually, both at present and in future, of whatsoever community or order, in whatever part of the world they may be, ought henceforth to remain perpetually cloistered in their monasteries […] so that [the nuns] be able to serve God more freely, wholly separated from the public and worldly gaze and, occasions for lasciviousness having been removed, may most diligently safeguard their hearts and bodies in complete chastity."

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