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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Book of Hours
Belgium, possibly Ghent, ca. 1480-1490
M.278 fol. 87v

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Innocents: Massacre -- Mother, wearing headdress, holds swaddled infant in raised arms, away from extended left hand of soldier holding sword with right hand. Child, grasping dress with right hand, peers around side of the mother. Another soldier, raising scimitar with right hand, grasps left arm of nude infant held by left arm of mother, veiled, kneeling, raising her right hand toward face of the soldier. Bodies of three other infants, two swaddled, one nude, all bleeding, are on ground.
Scene in grassy area bordered by half-timbered building, brick building and wall. Beyond wall, group of soldiers, two carrying banners, buildings, seated woman, walking man, trees, one with few leaves.
Margins decorated with border of floreate ornament including rose, speedwell, thistle, strawberry, and viola, and inhabited by three flies, and bird, possibly jay.

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