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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. 75r

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Christ: Nativity -- Within shed, with holes in roof, Virgin Mary, nimbed, with joined hands, kneels looking down toward Christ Child, nude, lying amid rays on her cloak (?) on the ground. Midwife, wearing headdress, with joined hands, looking toward Virgin Mary, kneels next to tub in which is water (?). In background, Joseph the Carpenter, nimbed, with both hands on staff, kneels (?) looking toward Christ Child. Beside him, ox leans toward manger, and ass reaches up toward hay rack. Rays from star, upper left, stream through hole in roof toward Christ Child.
Medallions in margins, from top to bottom:
1) Virgin Mary: doubted, Joseph's repentance -- Virgin Mary, nimbed, her hands on her abdomen, stands before Joseph the Carpenter, nimbed, kneeling on one knee (?), holding hat with both hands, leaning (?) on staff. Scene in windowed room with canopied, draped bed, fireplace and chair on tiled floor.
2) Joseph the Carpenter: Dream II -- Joseph the Carpenter, holding hat on head with right hand and holding walking stick with left hand, reclines on ground looking over left shoulder at angel, head surmounted by cross, hovering above raising right hand, with left hand holding scroll inscribed IOSEPH FILII DAUID NOLI TIMERE [...]. Scene in landscape with trees and castle in background.
3) Virgin Mary: Journey to Bethlehem -- Virgin Mary, nimbed, her hands on abdomen, is astride ass; Joseph, wearing hat, follows holding with right hand holding over right shoulder, stick draped with cloth. Ox walks beside him.Scene in landscape with trees and buildings.
Margins decorated with birds and floreate ornament, including rose and viola.

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