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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Compilatio historiarum / Giovanni, da Udine
Switzerland, Basel, ca. 1476
MS M.158 fol. 48v

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Miniature, upper left: 1) Crowned devil, with mask on right shoulder and hooven hands and feet, holds pruning hook, partly sitting beside fiery cauldron in which are three nude souls. Above, flying devil with claw feet drops mitered soul toward the cauldron beside another falling soul, tonsured; scene amid flames. Miniature, lower left: 2) David: spoiling Rabbah -- Two nude men, are twisted on ground, hands bound behind them, beneath third nude man, hands bound, feet tied to cross bar, hanging upside down and being sawn in half between the legs by two men wearing hats. Miniature, upper right: 3) Gideon: punishing Elders of Succoth -- Gideon, wearing hat, mounted on bridled and saddled horse, his feet with spurs in stirrups, raises crop with right hand, looks back toward man, wearing hat, raising branch with right hand to flog three men, wrists bound behind them, departing to left. In foreground, bodies of two men, hands bound behind them, ankles tied by rope to trappings of the horse, are dragged on ground. Miniature, lower right: 4) Moses: crossing Red Sea -- Crowned Moses is mounted on bridled and saddled horse, his feet in stirrups, holding reins of the horse with left hand and holding bannered spear with right hand, he leads four helmeted soldiers, some only heads or helmets visible, three are holding spear, halberd, and double-edged axe, head of another horse is visible; all are partly submerged in Red Sea. 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 41 of the Speculum Humanae Salvationis.

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