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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Book of Hours
Spain, perhaps Burgos or Segovia, 1465-1480
MS M.854 fol. 225v

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Gregory the Great: Scene, celebrating Mass -- Flanked by kneeling tonsured acoloytes holding lighted candles, Gregory the Great, nimbed, tonsured, wearing papal vestement, holds wafer (host) in both hands and kneels before draped altar, upon which are two candles in candlesticks; triple papal tiara with infulae; covered chalice; and open book with pseudo-inscription on lectern. Behind altar is Christ, as Man of Sorrows, with crossed nimbus, wearing crown of thorns and short loin cloth, showing wounds, standing in open sarcophagus. Behind him are Instruments of the Passion, including Sudarium, pincers, hammer and nails, dice, cross draped with clothing, ladder leaning against cross, rooster (cock) on top of column, lantern, and moneybag.
Miniature enclosed in frame inscribed INICIUM SAPIENCIE TIMOR DOMINI INIC (sic).
Amid foliate ornament in margins are four angels holding Instruments of the Passion, including lance, ladder, cross, and column; and eight birds.
Miniature and ornament executed in grisaille and gold tones with color accents.

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