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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Book of Hours
Belgium, Bruges, between 1500 and 1526
M.363 fol. 79v

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Magi: Adoration -- Virgin Mary, rays as nimbus, veiled, sits holding nude Christ Child, rays as nimbus. The Virgin is surrounded by three Magi, one crowned, holding vessel in his right hand, another kneeling with joined hands raised, vessel beside him on ground; third is black and holds vessel in left hand. Behind Mary is Joseph the Carpenter. Scene in ruined building with portal open onto landscape with wattle fence and hills in distance. Rays descend from sky through the portal.
At left, in illusionistic border, is man climbing tree in which are perched chaffinches. He raises right forefinger toward the birds' nest. At right are three chaffinches in flight. At bottom, merman, wearing armor, holds shield in left hand and raises sword in right hand to strike fantastic animal. In background is landscape with river, city buildings, and wall.

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