Hochschul- und Landesbibliothek Fulda

Jesus’ blood is collected in a chalice by an unknown figure (middle right) while his body is taken down from the cross, in this miniature from a 12th-century gospel book from the abbey of Weingarten in southern Germany. In a particularly influential Grail romance, The History of the Grail, from the first decade of the 13th century, the poet Robert de Boron wrote that Joseph of Arimathea used the cup from the Last Supper to collect Jesus’ blood after the Crucifixion. This idea is found in no earlier text, but the poet may have been influenced by an iconographic tradition, of which this miniature, from a century earlier, is the earliest known example.