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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Christ: Nativity.
Belgium, possibly Tournai, ca. 1440
MS M.357. Fol. 053r

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Christ: Nativity -- Joseph the Carpenter, holding crutch with left hand, stands behind Virgin Mary, nimbed and veiled, with joined hands. She kneels at feet of nude Christ Child reclining amid rays on ground, below thatch roof with holes, and flanked by wattle walls. Rays descend to Christ Child from mouth of God, rays as nimbus, above in cloud-edged arc of Heaven. At right, next to draped bed with pillow, angel holds scroll inscribed TE DEUM LAUDAMUS. Behind wall at left, heads of ass and ox, each with grain in mouth, are visible behind manger.
Margins decorated with border of floreate ornament inhabited by hybrid man wearing hat; porcupine-like fantastic animal, mouth open, tongue emerging (?). Text and miniature framed on three sides by gold bars decorated with flowers and intertwining vines.

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