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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Book of hours
Belgium, Bruges, ca. 1480
MS M.493 fol. 14v

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Christ: Crucifixion -- Christ, rays as nimbus, head inclined, eyes closed, wearing crown of thorns and short loin cloth, bleeding from wounds in head, hands, side and feet, is affixed by three nails to tau-cross surmounted by titulus inscribed INRI (from John 19:19), flanked by one Holy Woman, wearing wimpled veil, beside Virgin Mary wearing wimpled veil, with arms crossed on breast, beside Evangelist John, all with scalloped nimbi and by two men wearing hats or headgear, one possibly Longinus of Jerusalem, both gesturing, beside two helmeted soldiers (only heads visible). Scene in hilly landscape with city in background. Borders decorated with gold scrolling foliate and floreate ornament on blue background; inhabited by hybrid men and peacock. Margin, upper left: Bearded mask issuing from animal legs amid foliage. Margin, left: Hybrid man, wearing conical hat, astride hybrid animal. Margin, lower left: Hybrid man with lower body of fish (?), raising sword. Margin, lower right: Peacock. Miniature for beginning of the Short Hours of the Cross.

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