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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Vita Christi (Life of Christ)
Belgium, Bruges, ca. 1440
MS M.649 fol. 7r

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Zone 1:
1) Virgin Mary: Coronation -- Virgin Mary, nimbed and crowned, hands joined, is seated on draped bench next to Christ, cross-nimbed, right hand extended toward her, holding globe in left hand. They sit, with feet on footrests, beneath canopy, drapes of which are held open by angel, nimbus of rays, on each side. In forground one of two angels plays portative organ; the other plays harp.
2) Solomon: petitioned by Bathsheba (I Kings 02: 18-21) -- Bathsheba, name inscribed BARSABEE on scroll, wearing draped headdress, right hand raised, left hand at waist, is seated on throne under canopy. At her left side, Solomon, name inscribed SALOMON on scroll, crowned, left hand on breast (?), kneels. Behind him stand group of men, some wearing hats or caps, foremost of whom raises right hand and holds left hand on breast. Scene is in architectural setting.
Zone 2:
1) Christ: Last Judgment -- Christ, cross nimbed, right arm extended, left arm raised, nude torso draped in mantle with wounds in side, hands and feet exposed, is seated on arc above clouds or water, His feet resting on globe. He is flanked at His shoulders by two angels each blowing trumpet with inscribed scroll, on left SURGITE MORTUI and on right, VENITE AD IUDICUM. Before Him, dead rise up from graves. At left is Heaven as building or city gate with towers, and elaborate ornament where two Elect stand before Peter (?), with rays as nimbus. At right is partially open Hell Mouth showing Damned within.
2) Daniel: reproving Belshazzar -- Belshazzar, name inscribed BALTASAR on scroll, crowned, arms raised, is seated on throne on platform. Daniel, name inscribed DANIEL on scroll, looks back over his shoulder toward Belshazzar and with both hands indicates wall to right where hand of God holds pen (?) and writes MANE THECEL PHARES. Above wall is cloud or arc of Heaven emitting rays.

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