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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Book of Hours
France, Poitiers, ca. 1450
MS M.190 fol. 54r

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Christ: Crucifixion -- Christ, decorated crossed nimbus, with open eyes, wearing crown of thorns and loincloth, bleeding from wounds, is affixed with three nails to cross with titulus inscribed INRI, above mound with skull and bones. He is flanked by two thieves, bound to tau-crosses with broken arms. Above are sun and moon.
Below at left, Evangelist John, decorated nimbus, supports swooning Virgin Mary, decorated nimbus, veiled. Behind the Virgin sit two veiled Holy Women, one clasping hands to breast, and apostle, all with decorated nimbi. Beside bucket, Stephaton extends sponge on reed toward Christ. Longinus, wearing hat, with spear pierces Christ's side, spouting blood. Another soldier holds on to the spear with one hand. Crowd of soldiers, some holding spears, looks toward Christ.
At right, the Centurion, wearing pointed headgear, mounted, points to Christ and turns his head toward mounted soldier, holding club-like weapon and shield, both in front of two men, one hooded, looking up, and the other pointing with right hand downward toward skull, beside group of soldiers, one holding bannered spear and another a spear.
Scene in naturalistic, landscape with hills in background. Wavy lines indicate turbulent sky.
Decorative borders composed of naturalistic foliate design of tendrils and flowering plants. Swath of grass with flowering plants demarcates two registers in right border.

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