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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Gospel Book
France, Saint-Omer, early 11th century
MS M.333 fol. 51r

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Initial Q, infilling:
1) Zacharias: Annunciation -- Within bowl of Initial Q decorated with three animal heads and foliage, Zacharias, tonsured, holds object (?) in left hand and censer in right hand. Nimbed angel wearing fillet holds staff in left hand and points with right hand toward Zacharias. They flank draped altar. Scene within initial Q decorated with three animal heads and foliage.
Initial Q, tail:
2) Christ: Nativity -- At left, tonsured monk prostrates himself with joined hands extended. To right, ox and ass (only heads visible) look on Christ Child, swaddled, lying in crib beside Virgin Mary, veiled, reclining on drapery.
To right and below initial Q is inscribed Q(VONIA)M QVIDE(M) MVLTI CONATI SVNT ORDINARE NARRATIONEM.
Frame, top:
1) Personification of Gladness, cross-nimbed, inscribed LETITIA, plays rote.
2) Scene, Sports and Games, Hunting, Boar -- Hunter, mounted, throwing javelin, and two hounds chase deer.
3) Personification of Charity, crossed nimbus, inscribed CARITAS, raises hands.
Frame, left:
4) Personification of Victory, crossed nimbus, inscribed VICTORIA, holds sceptre or staff in right hand and sword in left hand.
Frame, right:
5) Personification of Joy, crossed nimbus, inscribed GAVDIUM, holds scroll inscribed GAVDETE Q(UO)D NOMINA from Luke 10:20.
Frame, bottom:
6)Personification of Light, crossed nimbus, inscribed LVX, holds torch in each hand.
7) Scene, Sports and Games, Hunting, Boar -- Hunter with spear and sheild and two dogs round up boar.
8) Personification of Life, crossed nimbus, inscribed VITA, holds wafer in right hand and chalice in left hand.
All personifications as half figures, within medallions at corners and mid-points of frame decorated with foliage, interlace, and paired animals and birds.

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