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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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De re rustica
Italy, probably Milan, 1469
MS M.139 fol. 2r

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Columella: Text, De Re Rustica, Book I -- Columella, wearing hat, sitting with legs crossed at ankles, gesturing, is surrouned by five men, some gesturing. In foreground, man, with holes in the knees of his hose, sits on bank of stream and drinks from canteen held in right hand. Figures in landscape, with dog laying on ground; well with bucket and counterpoise; building, with roof surmounted by turret with banner, and with dovecote with birds enclosed in wall; hills; trees; river or sea with ships; and distant cities. Miniature in architectural frame composed of columns and entablature.
Five medallions in margins:
1) Scene, Occupational: Agriculture -- Man, wearing cap, with holes in the knees of his hose, holds pruning hook to vine held in left hand. Spade on ground; river, hills, and trees in background.
2) Scene, Occupational: Pastoral -- Shepherd, holding pedum in right hand, sits on bank beside flock of sheep. Scene in landscape with trees and distant city or castle.
3) Scene, Occupational: Agriculture -- Man, wearing kerchief on his head and with legs bare, holding pitchfork in both hands, stands beside wagon full of hay, pulled by two oxen. Behind the oxen stands another man, wearing hat, holding rood. Scene in landscape with hills and trees.
4) Heraldry, Italian: Caretto -- Escutcheon with arms of Caretto (or five bends dexter gules), surmounted by helm, with drape supported by two angels, each with one arm raised to wings of crowned eagle, atop the helm. The escutcheon is on a cart drawn by two leashed lions. All enclosed in acanthus-leaf frame interspersed with chain.
5) Scene, Occupational: Agriculture -- Man, wearing hat, with sickle held in right hand cuts grain held in left hand. Scene in field of grain, with trees and hills in background.
Margins with bianchi girari (white vine) ornament, inhabited by pairs of putti at top and right; and by rabbit in fenced enclosure at left.

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