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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Vita S. Benedicti
Italy, perhaps in Padua, ca. 1450
MS M.184 fol. 32v

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Miniature, left compartment: Benedict of Montecassino: Scene, Miracle of Wayward Novice -- Emerging from door of building, accompanied by tonsured monk, holding lit candle with right hand, Benedict of Montecassino, nimbus with scallops, tonsured and bearded, wearing monk’s habit, extends cross-surmounted ciborium to extended hands of tonsured male youth, partly kneeling, accompanied by three other kneeling men, one holds lit candle, one with joined hands raised, and one, possibly a monk, tonsured and bearded, with joined hands raised. Scene in landscape with two trees and bushes. Miniature, right compartment: Among five men, one wearing hat, holds hoe, one raises spade, one, wearing short tunic, holds candle in right hand and raises left hand, another, possibly tonsured and bearded monk, with joined hands raised looks down at tonsured man, partly kneeling, raising right hand in blessing and extending cross-surmounted ciborium in left hand toward dead monk, eyes closed, wearing hooded habit, reclining on ground with arms crossed at waist, amid two skulls and scattered human bones. Scene in room with three arched windows, door at right and wooden ceiling. Miniature within frame at end of Chapter 24 of Book II of Dialogues; A novice monk who has died was repeatedly found cast out of his grave. Benedict of Montecassino orders that a ciborium filled with consecrated hosts should be placed on the body of the wayward monk.

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