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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Compilatio historiarum / Giovanni, da Udine
Switzerland, Basel, ca. 1476
MS M.158 fol. 46r

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Miniature, upper left: 1) David: Fetching of Ark -- Ark as reliquary, surmounted by two crosses, rests on two poles carried by two men, wearing hats, on their shoulders (David not present). Miniature, lower left: 2) Apocalypse: Woman clothed with Sun -- Woman, nimbed and crowned, winged, with joined hands, emits rays or flames standing on crescent moon with face in profile. Miniature, upper right: 3) Solomon: petitioned by Bathsheba -- Solomon, crowned, with left hand raised and right hand on lap, is seated on bench beside Bathsheba, crowned, wearing wimpled veil, head inclined, with joined hands raised. Miniature, lower right: 4) Virgin Mary: Death -- Virgin Mary, nimbed and veiled, eyes closed, hands at waist, reclines on draped bed with head on pillow. Behind bed, three-quarter figure of Christ, cross-nimbed, supports personification of the Virgin’s soul as nimbed youthful girl with His left arm, with his right hand raised in blessing. He is surrounded by ten nimbed apostles (some with only nimbi visible), one holding bucket with left hand beside Apostle Peter, raising aspergil with right hand, looking back; another two nimbed apostles in foreground: one with eyes closed, indicates other apostle, veiled, crouching or sitting, holding open book with pseudo-inscriptions; both flanking lit candlestick. Miniatures are proofs for Bernhard Richel’s Spiegel Menschlicher Behältnis (Basel: 1476) with biblical quotes, commentary and abbreviated extracts, written in German, for an extended Chapter 36 of the Speculum Humanae Salvationis.

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