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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Book of Hours
France, Saint-Omer, between 1320 and 1329
MS M.754 fol. 55v

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Christ: Betrayal and Arrest, and Apostle, Peter: cutting off Ear of Malchus -- Judas embracing Christ, cross-nimbed, with right hand grasping head of Malchus kneeling, all flanked by Apostle Peter, nimbed, tonsured, with sword in raised right hand, and three soldiers wearing chain mail, one raising lantern, one holding spear, and one grasping Christ.
Scene against gold background, beneath cinquefoil arch of gable with oculus in spandrels and with pinnacles and finial, in initial D with foliate ascender of headless aninal hybrid, within diapered panel.
Beginning of first versicle of Matins of Long Hours of the Cross / Hours of the Passion.
Margins decorated with foliate stems, balls, and bottom bar of scrolling foliage.
Margin, left, inhabited by female donor (donee?), wearing veiled headdress, kneeling, with joined hands raised, looking toward the Betrayal scene, against diapered background within building representing chapel.
Margin, lower, inhabited by two monkeys, one wearing hood, seated beside gaming board (Sports and Games: Merrills), the other beside arrow and three dice (Sports and Games: Dicing), and hybrid bird; below, man drawing bow in left hand, and the arrow (inverted) at the monkey above.
Margin, right, inhabited by bird and hybrid above.

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