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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Piccolomini breviary
Italy, Lombardy, ca. 1475
MS M.799 fol. 8r

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David: in Prayer -- David, nimbed, wearing hat, with joined hands raised, kneeling on bank of stream, earthen arch behind him; rabbit on opposite bank. All within camaieu initial B of foliate ornament, decorated with gemstones and inhabited by putto holding tambourine.
Vignette in lower margin:
David: beheading Goliath -- In lower margin, flanked by two confronted armies, youthful David, nimbed, holding scimitar with both hands, beheads Goliath, bleeding from neck, wearing armor, falling to ground. Scene in landscape, animal entering cave at lower right.
In upper margin, bust of Augustine of Hippo, nimbed, wearing miter with infulae, hood of black habit visible above vestment, holding crozier with right hand and book with left hand, in medallion flanked by two angels, nimbed, grasping the medallion with hands. All are flanked by red winged heads and by two putti holding tambourines, astride dolphins.
In left and right margins, six medallions enclosing busts of two nuns, one with joined hands, and four monks, tonsured, three holding books, one in profile. All nimbed; all wearing habit of Augustinians. Margins decorated with vining floreate ornament inhabited by two confronted deer (?), and bird, and by putti seated on vines, astride geese, embracing, fighting, and climbing vines.

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