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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Compilatio historiarum / Giovanni, da Udine
Switzerland, Basel, ca. 1476
MS M.158 fol. 37v

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Miniature, upper left: 1) Dysmas: Scene, led to Calvary and Gestas: Scene, led to Calvary -- Group of helmeted soldiers (most with only heads visible), bear two tau-crosses, the foremost soldier grasps rope and leads by their bound wrists two thieves, Dismas (Dysmas) and Gestas, wearing short loin cloths, one blindfolded, and one with his blindfold lifted, his left arm grasped by man raising club with right hand. Miniature, lower left: 2) Abraham: sacrificing Isaac -- Isaac, kneels on altar, with joined hands raised, his right shoulder held by Abraham, looking back, sword in his raised left hand stayed by half-figure of angel, emerging from cloud. In foreground, sheep and another Isaac, carrying bundle of sticks. Miniature, upper right: 3) Christ: Parable, Wicked Husbandmen -- One of two men, raises knife over third man, on ground, the second man stabs third in abdomen with knife. All before castle portal surmounted by crenellated tower, flanked by grapevines, and enclosed by wattle fence. Miniature, lower right: 4) Moses: Spies of Canaan -- Two men, wearing hats, one holds walking stick with right hand and one with knife tied on belt, each carrying staff with left hand, supporting on left shoulders pole from which hangs large bunch of grapes. Scene in landscape. Miniatures for Bernhart Richel’s Spiegel der Menschlichen Behältnis (Basel: 1476) with biblical quotes, commentary and abbreviated extracts, in German, for Chapters 22 (Dysmas: Scene, led to Calvary and Abraham: sacrificing Isaac) and 23 in the Speculum Humanae Salvationis.

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