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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Book of Hours
France, ca. 1430
MS M.64 fol. 129r

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Catherine of Alexandria, nimbed and crowned, stands holding open book in right hand, and sword in left hand, the point of which rests on small figure of Maxentius, crowned, on floor. Broken wheel is behind her. Scene in canopied architectural frame, with drape hung across background. Pinnacles and domes topped with crosses, and with banner.
Lower margin, in circle of foliage:
Catherine of Alexandria: Scene, led to Execution -- Catherine, nimbed, hands tied in front, is flanked by man holding rope around her neck, and by man grasping her left arm, standing in door of building. Six men stand in background.
Right margin, in circle of foliage (bottom to top):
1) Catherine of Alexandria: Scene, Torture -- Catherine, nimbed, with hands joined, kneels and looks up toward wheel. At left, man is lying on ground; at right one man lies on ground, another falls from horse, others fall to ground. Arc of Heaven emits rays.
2) Catherine of Alexandria: Scene, Martyrdom -- Catherine, nimbed, with hands joined, kneels, executioner behind her raising scimitar with both hands. In background, group of several men look on. Scene in rocky landscape with trees.
Margins decorated with border of foliate and floreate ornament, some emerging from vase.

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