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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Vita Christi (Life of Christ)
Belgium, Bruges, ca. 1440
MS M.649 fol. 2v

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Zone 1:
1) Innocents: Massacre -- Herod the Great, crowned, stands holding upturned saber with both hands, beside four swaddled infants, some bleeding. To left, soldier, wearing helmet and armor, holds in right hand, upturned sword impaling nude infant, and is surrounded by four bleeding infants, three swaddled and one nude. At right, soldier, wearing helmet and armor, holding upturned saber approaches mother holding swaddled infant departing to right. Scene in architectural setting.
2) Moses: in Bulrushes -- Moses, name inscribed MOYSES on scroll, swaddled, lies in open chest, with lock, on water. On shore, Pharoah's daughter, veiled, kneels behind rail on furca, extending her left hand and grasping handle on end of chest. To right, is building with two banners. Scene is set within landscape with sun above, and with hills, trees and city (?) in background.
Zone 2:
1) Christ: among Doctors -- Christ, cross nimbed, is seated on bench in center of room surrounded by nine men, one holding open book, some gesturing toward Christ, some wearing hats, pointed hats, soft caps, some looking at each other, some looking up, all seated, some on benches on perimeter of room. Virgin Mary, nimbed and veiled, hands joined, stands in corner. Scene is in architectural setting.
2) Fountain of polylobed basin on pedestal with raised lid is enclosed by two concentric circles emanating from sky, possibly arc of Heaven. Four rivers of Paradise flow from it. Surrounding fountain is landscape with trees, mountain and city in background.

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