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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Christ: Crucifixion.
Belgium, possibly Tournai, ca. 1440
MS M.357. Fol. 158r

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Christ: Crucifixion -- Christ, crossed nimbus, with crown of thorns, head inclined, eyes closed, wearing short loin cloth, bleeding from wounds in head, hands, side and feet, is affixed with three nails to cross with titulus INRI. Sun and moon flank the titulus. Christ is flanked by two tau crosses on which hang two thieves, each tied to the cross, arms up over cross bar. At left, angel descends toward head of Dismas (good thief); at right, devil, horned, holding flesh-hook with both hands, stands on cross bar between arms of Gestas (bad thief).
Below, left, Evangelist John, nimbed, extends right hand to right arm of Virgin Mary, nimbed and veiled, swooning. Two of three Holy Women, nimbed, one only partially visible, one veiled, each extend hand to Virgin Mary. Other figures, only tops of heads visible, stand behind them. Stephaton, wearing pointed hat, pierces side of Christ with spear held in right hand, and raises left hand to left eye, blood dropping to the eye. Mary Magdalen, wearing ermine lined cloak, kneeling, extends both hands to the cross. At right, Longinus, wearing hat, looking up toward Christ, holds with right hand, reed with sponge; next to him, man wearing knotted headgear, looks upward, raising draped right hand, holding rod with left hand, possibly Longinus of Jerusalem. Behind them stand soldiers, holding spears, one bannered, and halberd. Above them is scroll inscribed VERE FILIUS DEI ERAT ISTE.Christ: Casting of Lots for Garments -- In lower margin, two confronted men, kneeling on garment, fight. One man, knife sheath hanging from belt, extends knife back with right hand, extending left hand to second man; the other man, wearing hood, with left hand grasps hair of first man, and raises object with right hand. Three dice are between them.

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