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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Vita Christi (Life of Christ)
Belgium, Bruges, ca. 1440
MS M.649 fol. 1v

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Zone 1:
1) Christ: Circumsion -- Christ Child, cross-nimbed, is lying on draped table or altar. Four people stand around table, Joseph the Carpenter, holding lighted candle in left hand; second man, holding child with right hand, gesturing with left; woman wearing pointed hat; and Mohel, wearing mitre-like high priest hat, circumcising Christ Child. On table are bowl and knife.
2)Abraham: Circumcising -- Isaac, inscribed YSAAC, is lying on draped altar or table, surrounded by four people. Man, gesturing with right hand, rests his hand on head of Isaac; woman, veiled, holds right hand on breast; man wearing wearing hat stands next to table; and Abraham at foot of table circumcises Isaac. Bowl is on table.
Zone 2:
1) Magi: Adoration -- Within stable of wattle, Virgin Mary, nimbed, is seated at foot of bed, with nude (?) Christ Child, cross nimbed, sitting on her lap. One of three Magi, crowned, holding covered cup in right hand, stands beside her gesturing with left hand, toward another Magus, crowned, holding covered bowl (?) in left hand, gesturing with right, standing beneath rays emitted by star. Third Magus kneels before Virgin Mary extending object held in left hand toward Christ Child.
2) Hezekiah: showing Treasure -- In upper left corner is sun with face. Hezekiah, crowned, name inscribed EZECHIAS, seated on draped bench on which is covered jar, holding foliate staff in right hand and extending left hand, is flanked by two men, one holding lighted candle (?), the other holding ewer with both hands. Next to bench is container of coins (?), some of which are on ground. King, possibly Merodach-baladan of Babylon, wearing sword at side, kneels before Hezekiah; behind him stand crowd of men, some wearing armor and helmets, some holding vessels.

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