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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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

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Miniature, upper left: 1) Virgin Mary: Misericordia -- Virgin Mary, nimbed and crowned, wearing wimpled veil, extends arms to open mantle enclosing under mantle to left, seven male and female devotees, one a crowned king, one in bishop’s vestments, and to right, three male devotees including one wearing papal tiara, one wearing cardinal’s hat and one wearing bishop’s miter, kneeling. Miniature, lower left: 2) Moses: before Gates of Sabba -- Moses, horned, wearing armor, astride bridled and saddled horse, his feet with spurs, in stirrups, aims lance with right hand at locked door of crenellated tower. In background, Tarbis, and her father, King of Ethiopia, both crowned, and both gesturing, appear behind crenellations on wall; buildings in distance. Miniature, upper right: 3) Abimelech: Death -- Flanked by three men and possibly one woman, another woman, veiled, on crenellated wall holds with both hands, stone over top of the wall. Below, Abimelech, crowned, holding torch with right hand, partly reclines on ground, transfixed by sword held by soldier, wearing helmet and full armor. Miniature, lower right: 4) David: let down from Window -- David, crowned, descends from building on rope lowered by Michal, crowned, as half-figure in arched window. At right, emerging from arched portal, group of helmeted soldiers, including Saul, hold spear and two halberds (some with only helmets visible). Miniatures are proofs for Bernhart Richel’s Spiegel der Menschlichen Behältnis (Basel: 1476) with biblical quotes, commentary and abbreviated extracts, written in German, for Chapter 37 of the Speculum Humanae Salvationis.

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