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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Compilatio historiarum / Giovanni, da Udine
Switzerland, Basel, ca. 1476
MS M.158 fol. 40v

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Miniature, upper left: 1) Joseph: cast into Pit -- Youthful Joseph, as half-figure, is in well head with spout issuing water at bottom, he is surrounded by his seven brethren, four wearing hats or hoods, most gesturing toward him. Miniature, lower left: 2) Jonah: cast overboard -- One of four men in boat with bannered mast and sail, holds by waist nude body of Jonah, falling head first into water. In foreground, head of fantastical fish with jaws open, baring teeth. Miniature, upper right: 3) Limbo -- In upper register, half-figure of Christ, cross-nimbed, right hand raised in blessing, and Virgin Mary, nimbed and veiled, are flanked by half-figures of three men, two with joined hands raised (Limbo). In second register, half-figures of four nude men, and two nude women, most with joined hands raised, two look upward (Purgatory). In third register, half-figures of three nude men, and three nude women, with joined hands raised (Purgatory). In fourth register, three nude men and one woman, her head in her hands, flank horned devil, amid flames (Hell). Miniature, lower right: 4) Hebrews Three: in Fiery Furnace -- Youthful, nude figures of three Hebrews, with joined hands appear in arched opening of furnace or oven, which is surrounded by flames. Angel, raises left hand and lowers right hand, beside the furnace. Miniatures are proofs for Bernhard Richel’s Spiegel Menschlicher Behältnis (Basel: 1476) with biblical quotes, commentary and abbreviated extracts, written in German, for Chapters 27 (Joseph: cast into Pit and Jonah: cast overboard) and 28 of the Speculum Humanae Salvationis.

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