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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Compilatio historiarum / Giovanni, da Udine
Switzerland, Basel, ca. 1476
MS M.158 fol. 39v

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Miniature, upper left: 1) Absalom: Death -- Beside backside of departing horse, Absalom, wearing armor, holding sword with left hand, hangs by his hair from tree, his body pierced from behind by two spears (?), thrust by helmeted soldiers, mounted on bridled and saddled horses. Miniature, lower left: 2) Nebuchadnezzar: hewn by Evilmerodach -- Evilmerodach, crowned, raises axe with left hand, stands over headless and limbless torso of Nebuchadnezzar laid on table. He is flanked by four flying birds carrying in their talons, feet and hands of the body. Below the table, head of Nebuchadnezzar, crowned, bleeding from neck, is flanked, and pecked, by two birds. Miniature, upper right: 3) Christ: Deposition -- Christ, cross-nimbed, eyes partly open, wearing crown of thorns and short loincloth, is lowered from tau-cross with titulus INRI; His feet affixed with one nail to the cross. His upper body descending into draped hands of Joseph of Arimathea, looking into the eyes of the Christ, the drape also held by man, wearing hat, mounted on ladder propped on the cross. The Joseph is beside Evangelist John, nimbed, with joined hands raised. At the foot of the cross Virgin Mary, nimbed and veiled with wimple, head inclined, sits (?), with joined hands raised. Miniature, lower right: 4) Jacob: shown Coat of Joseph -- Jacob, grasps garment held in hands, tearing it, the garment grasped also with right hand of one of two bearded men, wearing hats, flanking the Jacob. Miniatures for Bernhart Richel’s Spiegel der Menschlichen Behältnis (Basel: 1476) with biblical quotes, commentary and abbreviated extracts, written in German, for Chapters 25 (Absalom: Death and Nebuchadnezzar: hewn by Evilmerodach) and 26 of the Speculum Humanae Salvationis.

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