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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Book of Hours
France, Rouen, 1470-1480
MS M.312 fol. 80r

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David: repentant and David: rebuked by Nathan -- Christ-Logos, cross nimbes, in arc of heaven, rayed, holds globe in left hand and raises right hand in blessing. From the arc of heaven, rays descend toward David, kneeling with joined hands raised, beside his crown, on ground and his harp, on bench.
Behind David is Nathan, wearing hat, with left hand extended and right forefinger indicating angel, hovering below Christ-Logos, raising sword in left hand.
Scene in vaulted room in whcih is curtain, canopied bed, two windows, and open portal through which is landscape setting.
Marginal vignettes (counter-clockwise from upper left):
1) David: encountering Goliath -- Goliath, wearing armor, reclines on ground beside shield, holding halberd in left hand. David, wearing hat, stands with left hand raised, holding sling in right hand, beside flock. Scene in landscape setting.
2) David: arming himself before Saul -- David, holds hat in right hand and raises left hand to touch right hand of Saul, behind whom is group of soldiers, wearing armor, some holding spears. Scene behind parted curtain.
3) Judgment of Paris -- Paris, wearing armor, reclines at base of fountain decorated with statue of figure holding cross. He rests his head on his right hand and looks up toward man, wearing cap, holding scepter with left hand and golden object in right hand. Behind the man stand three nude women: Juno (Hera), Minerva (Athena) and Venus (Aphrodite), two of whom wear hats and one of whom holds gold object, possibly apple (apple of discord) in raised right hand. Horse stands behind fountain.
4) David and Bathsheba: Bathsheba bathing -- Bathsheba, nude, stands in basin of fountain. At right in window, David, crowned, holding scepter with right hand looks toward another man, wearing cap, looking through window. In foreground is man with joined hands raised (only head and hands visible) and three women, wearing hats, seated on ground, one with box on lap. Scene in landscape setting.
5) Absalom: Death -- Joab, wearing armor and helmet, holding shield with left hand and lance under right arm is astride horse galloping toward Absalom, hanging in tree, his breast pierced by the lance. Group of soldiers, some holding spears, are at left and three soldiers, bleeding from wounds, recline on ground. Scene in landscape with three tents and horse in background.

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