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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Hours of Henry VIII
France, Tours, ca. 1500
MS H.8 fol. 1v

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Month, Occupation: February -- Man, entering room, carries two wine flagons toward table with loaf, platter of meats and cup, beside bench. Man, wearing fur-lined garments and hat, standing behind bench and before fireplace, raises folds of clothes to warm backside.
Below miniature, historiated border frames calendar.
Left margin:
1) Virgin Mary, nimbed, standing, with staff in left hand, holds Christ Child, nimbed, swaddled. Feast of Purification celebrated February 2.
2) Blasius of Sebaste, nimbed, wearing bishop's miter and vestments, holds crozier and iron comb in right hand and book in left hand. Feast celebrated February 3.
3) Agatha of Catania: Torture (extending into lower margin) -- Agatha of Catania, nimbed, partially nude, half-figure, is tortured by man, half-figure, removing her breasts with pincers. Feast celebrated February 5.
Right margin:
1) Apostle, Peter: Chair at Antioch -- Peter, nimbed, wearing triple-crowned tiara, seated in cathedra, raises right hand in blessing and holds open book in left hand. Feast of the Chair of Apostle Peter celebrated February 22.
2) Apostle Matthias, nimbed, standing.
3) Bishop, nimbed, wearing miter and vestments, holds crozier in right hand and book in left hand. Possibly one of three bishops named in calendar: Polycarp of Smyrna (February 23), Honoratus of Milan (February 26), or Justus(?) February 28 (perhaps misidentified with Justus of Rome, feast day celebrated February 23, who was martyred with Macarius, Rufinus and Theophilus of Rome).
Lower border:
1) Zodiac Sign: Pisces -- Two fishes within roundel.
2) Saint, male, nimbed, holding staff.

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