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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Piccolomini breviary
Italy, Lombardy, ca. 1475
MS M.799 fol. 63v

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Christ: Last Judgment -- Christ, crossed nimbus, bleeding from wound in side (?) and left hand, is seated on cloud amid rays in mandorla surrounded by six-winged (?) seraphim. All are flanked by saints, nimbed, some with joined hands, some with hands crossed on breast. They include bishop, possibly Augustine of Hippo, wearing miter, hood of habit visible above vestments; monk, tonsured; John Baptist, supporting cross-staff with right arm; Peter holding key with right hand; Virgin Mary, veiled with wimple, hands crossed on breast; saint holding book with left hand. Of Apostles and saints at right, Evangelist John (?), with joined hands looks toward Christ. Below the mandorla, five angels, with joined hands, look up toward Christ; five others play horns. All are nimbed.
Below, at left, angel, nimbed, stands in doorway before four monks, nimbed, possibly including two Augustinians, Franciscan and Cistercian. Another Augustinian, tonsured, with joined hands, kneels on stairs approaching the doorway. At bottom left, three angels, nimbed, stand among souls including tonsured monk, Augustinian nun with joined hands; monk, tonsured, wearing gray habit, with joined hands; woman with joined hands; possibly soldier wearing armor; bishop or abbot, wearing miter, hood of habit visible above robe.
At right, three devils appear at top of rocky mound; other devils push or pull souls toward fiery portal, including bishop wearing miter with infulae; tonsured monks; woman, mouth open, left side of head grasped by devil; and king holding crown on head with both hands.
In center, devil stands on one of three nude souls emerging from graves; the other two look up toward Christ.
In upper margin, medallion enclosing inscription YHS, surrounded by rays, flanked by two cornucopia from which emerge vining floreate ornament.
In upper left margin, medallion enclosing bust of Evangelist John with evangelist symbol (eagle), supported on bowl of leaves held by raised hands of putto standing on basin (?), and flanked by two other putti playing horn (?) and tambourine. In middle of left margin, disk decorated with pearls and gemstones. At bottom, medallion enclosing bust of Luke, nimbed, holding open book, next to head of evangelist symbol (ox).
In upper right margin, medallion enclosing bust of Matthew, nimbed, holding and looking toward open book (reading); head of evangelist symbol (angel) visible at his right shoulder. Below, putto or nude man, holding object with both hands, standing on one foot on pedestal. At bottom in elongated medallion, half-figure of Mark, nimbed, holding and looking at open book (reading), resting it on head of evangelist symbol (lion).
Margins decorated with foliate ornament, draped strings of beads, pedestals.
On facing page, beginning of chapter for Vespers on Saturday before first Sunday in Advent.

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