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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Book of Hours
France, Paris, ca. 1420-1425
MS M.1004 fol. 78r

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Psalm 6 (Vulg., 6).
1) David: communicating with God -- David, crowned, wearing cape lined with ermine, girdle, and purse at waist, with hands joined and raised, kneels on one knee next to harp, looking up at God, cross-nimbed, right hand raised, holding cross-surmounted globe in draped left hand. He is encircled by seraphs, amid rays. Scene is in landscape with rocky outcrops, trees, and stream with swan. In background on stream is mill with water wheel; figure with staff and sack on back approaches mill. Beyond are three shepherds amid sheep, and walls of city.
Right margin:
2) Uriah the Hittite: Death -- Uriah, wearing helmet, holding bannered spear in right hand is struck in head by axe held by man wearing helmet. He is among three other men, two holding spear, one with scabbard at waist. All wear helmets.
3) Soldier, wearing helmet, carrying bannered spear, with sword at waist, leads three other soldiers, of whom all wear helmets; two wear sheathed sword at waist. Possibly, Uriah the Hittite: leading Army.
Lower margin:
4) David and Bathsheba: Bathsheba bathing -- Man, wearing headgear, is seated on bench next to David, crowned. Both look to right at Bathsheba, nude, wearing headdress, in wooden tub filled with water to her waist.
5) David: slinging at Goliath -- Flanked by four sheep, David, right arm swinging sling, and holding pedum under left arm, stands opposite Goliath, with stone (?) on forehead, holding sword in gloved right hand and shield in gloved left hand.
Margins decorated with border of foliate and floreate ornament, including columbine, strawberry and rose, and inhabited by birds, including pelican (?) and parrot. Within border, quatrefoils enclosing fantastic birds, dragon, and foliate ornament.
Added probably after 1251, heraldic shields of France, France impaling Savoy, Savoy, Savoy with label of three points impaling France in barbed quatrefoils in corners of margins.

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