Giovanni Balduccio, Tomb of St. Peter Martyr: Detail, Virtues (front)


Portinari Chapel
Basilica of Sant'Eustorgio, Milan

Justice holds in her left hand what must once have been a pair of scales, perhaps the most persistent attribute of this virtue. At her feet is a pair of sphinxes.

Temperance pours something from a smaller vessel into a larger one. This is also a common attribute, appearing even in the Tarot deck. One article on Wikipedia suggests Temperance is pouring water into wine to dilute it. Another suggests that water is in both vessels.

Fortitude has a shield. Many images of this virtue do give her military armor or equipment of various kinds. At her feet is a pair of lions.

Prudence holds books in her left hand and something I cannot make out in her right. Snakes are by far the most common attribute for Prudence, a mirror less so, a book very rare.

View Justice, Temperance, Fortitude, and Prudence in full resolution.
View the Virtues on the back of the structure.
View the entire tomb structure.
Read more about the iconography of the virtues.

Photographed at the basilica by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.