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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Italy, Pisa, 1543-1599
MS M.320 fol. 40r

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Initial: Christ: Nativity -- Virgin Mary, nimbed, with joined hands, kneels and looks down toward nude Christ Child, crossed nimbus, reclining on hem of her mantle on ground. Joseph the Carpenter, nimbed, with joined hands, kneels at His head. Ox, with ring in nose, and ass, bridled, are next to Christ Child, the ox leaning down toward Him. Three (?) angels, nimbed, one or two with joined hands, are behind Mary. Dove of Holy Ghost, crossed nimbus, wings spread, stands on peak of roof on building in background. All enclosed in foliate initial C. Margins: In upper margin, bust of God arms extended, appears in cloud-edged arc of Heaven, surrounded by winged heads and flanked by scrolls (illegible) and angels, some playing musical instruments, including horns, viols. In right margin, angel holding scroll inscribed GLORIA I(N) ALTISSIMIS DEO (Luke 2:14), surrounded by other angels. Below, another angel, nimbed, head surmounted by cross, holding illegible scroll with right hand. In lower right margin, shepherd, wearing conical hat, purse over right shoulder, raising left hand, sitting on ground, looking up over left shoulder toward the angels. Sheep at left. (Shepherds: Annunciation) In lower margin, Virgin Mary, nimbed, seated, flanked by five women, one possibly seated at loom. One of two women at right seated on chair. In background, shelves, one with bottle; at right drapery.

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