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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Single leaf from the Winchester Bible
England, Winchester, between 1160 and 1180
MS M.619 verso

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Zone 1:
1) David: slinging at Goliath (I Samuel 17:49-50) -- Group of thirteen soldiers, wearing helmets and chain mail, armed with nine spears and cross-inscribed shield, behind Saul, crowned, with right hand extended and sword in left hand, all standing;
to right, youthful David standing on pile of rocks, with sling raised in right hand and stone and bag in left hand, before Goliath, wearing helmet and chain mail, armed with shield and sword in belt.
2) David: beheading Goliath (I Samuel 17:51) -- Youthful David with sword in right hand and severed head of Goliath in left hand, standing on Goliath, wearing chain mail, armed with sword and shield, collapsed on ground beside spear;
to right, sixteen Philistines, wearing helmets and chain mail, armed with spears and shields, some mounted on horses (only visible from the rear), all fleeing.
Zone 2:
3) Saul: hurling Javelin at David (I Samuel 18:10-11) -- Man, possibly Samuel, wearing hat, with right forefinger raised, seated behind Saul, crowned, wearing vair-lined mantle, seated on cushioned bench with footstool, holding trefoil-mounted scepter in left hand and with right hand heaving javelin toward youthful David with hands raised and harp on his bent leg.
Scene within architectural setting.
4) David: anointed (I Samuel 16:13) -- Samuel, nimbed, pouring oil from vessel of affusion on head of youthful David with right hand raised and pedum in left hand, attended by Sons of Jesse, one wearing pointed hat, and Jesse, bearded, with right hand raised and holding tau-staff in left hand.
Zone 3:
5) Absalom: Death (II Sam. 18:14, Absalom killed by Joab) -- Two soldiers, wearing helmets and chain mail, mounted, beside Joab, wearing helmet and chain mail, mounted, armed with heraldic shield, decorated with chevrons argent and gules, and with lance piercing Absalom, wearing vair-lined mantle and chain mail, hanging by hair from tree above horse.
6) David: weeping for Absalom (II Sam. 19:04) -- Four men, two gesturing, one wearing cap, one indicating Absalom’s death to left, all beside David, crowned, covering face with vair-lined red mantle.
All within frame decorated with contiguous semicircles filled with fretwork.

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