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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Book of Hours
France, Poitiers, ca. 1475
MS M.1001 fol. 57r

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Christ: Flight into Egypt, Fall of Idols -- Virgin Mary, scalloped nimbus, veiled, seated astride bridled ass, holds Christ Child, cross-nimbed, in both arms. Joseph the Carpenter, carrying stick over left shoulder, prods ass with another stick held in right hand. In background, within landscape with buildings, broken idol falls from column.
Miniature and text framed by historiated border with the following continuous scenes:
Innocents: Massacre commanded -- In right border, three male figures, including soldier holding spear, stand before Herod, crowned, seated within tent, right hand raised.
Innocents: Massacre -- Below, soldiers carrying weapons process toward courtyard, depicted in lower border, in which two soldiers attack nude infants held by women. One woman grasps arm of soldier raising scimitar above head and grasping hand of infant. Second woman pushes bleeding infant away and grasps blade of spear held by sodier. Dead infant lies at his feet. To left, woman enters building. To right, on opposite side of wall in courtyard, woman hides children from soldiers.
Above, in left border, soldiers walk away from scene below.

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