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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Vitae patrum
Italy, Naples, between 1350 and 1375
MS M.626 fol. 54v

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Macarius of Alexandria: Scene, Monks receiving Palms and -- At far left, altar decorated with panel depicting Virgin Mary and Christ Child.
Virgin Mary and Christ Child -- Virgin Mary, nimbed, crowned, seated, with both hands supporting Christ Child, cross-nimbed, partly standing in her lap, flanked by two unidentified nimbed saints, one possibly holding book, and one possible holding sword; frame of panel decorated with fleur-de-lis and ornament.
In center, among four tonsured monks, one hooded, all wearing monk’s habits, eyes closed and seated on bench, some partly reclining, all assailed by four horned and winged devils, with claw feet, from above by touching, sitting on or pulling the monk’s heads. At far right, another horned and winged devil, with claw feet, wearing sash, extends right hand to the scene beside Macarius of Alexandria, nimbed, tonsured, wearing hooded monk’s habit, raising left hand to mouth and gathering garment in left hand.
Illustration of Rufinus of Aquileia, Historia Monachorum in Aegypto, Chapter 29.

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