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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Book of Hours
France, perhaps in Paris or northeastern France, ca. 1465
MS M.1003 fol. 16r

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Narrative moves from bottom to top:
1) Magi: Journey -- Group of soldiers and men, all mounted follow Magi, crowned, mounted, one pointing with left hand, behind four soldiers, mounted, three carrying bannered spear, approaching castle where man stands in trilobed doorway holding ceremonial staff with right hand over right shoulder. Above doorway, in niche, below architectural canopy, is statue of king, crowned, holding staff in left hand. Beside horsemen, shepherd, wearing hood, leaning with both hands, on pedum stands amid sheep in field with trees.
2) Magi: before Herod the Great -- Beneath canopy, Herod, crowned, is seated on draped faldstool, his back to hooded fireplace with andirons and woven firescreen, with dog on floor beside him. He gestures with left hand toward three Magi, crowned, seated, the eldest gesturing toward Herod, and the black Magus holding rod in right hand. They are flanked by men wearing hats, one with sword, and soldiers, one black. Scene in wood panelled, windowed room with tile floor, within architectural frame.
In lower left corner, within architectural frame inscribed S MARC, Evangelist Mark, nimbed, wearing hat, writing on scroll held on his lap, is seated on wooden bench with cushion, next to lectern with open book. Evangelist symbol, lion, is in foreground.

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