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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Vita S. Benedicti
Italy, perhaps in Padua, ca. 1450
MS M.184 fol. 15v

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Benedict of Montecassino: Scene, Temptation -- Above in arched window, Benedict of Montecassino, nimbed, tonsured, raises left hand and lowers right hand, looking down toward seven maidens (harlots), wearing headdresses, snoods, and wreaths on their heads, joining hands in circle behind wattle-fence in monastery garden. To far right, outside the fence, one of two cowled monks, raises right hand to face and the other raises his hands, both beside aspergil in font within architectural niche. Scene in garden surrounded by Monastery of Montecassino walls and buildings with arched windows and trees, two bearing fruit. Miniature within frame for Chapter 8 of Book II of Dialogues; Florentius the Cleric sends seven harlots to Benedict of Montecassino’s monastery to tempt the monks.

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