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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Book of hours
Belgium, Bruges, ca. 1480
MS M.493 fol. 62v

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Innocents: Massacre -- To right stands one High Priest, wearing hat, beside two helmeted soldiers wearing tunics over armor, one extends left hand to head of swaddled infant held in veiled woman’s arms, while he raises sword with right hand above the infant. In foreground, another woman, wearing headdress, holds swaddled infant with right hand and raises her left arm which is grasped from behind by the soldier, also raising sword with left hand, all before Herod the Great, wearing conical hat and ermine-trimmed garments, seated on throne backed with decorative panel, raising sword with both hands (possibly commanding). Scene in room with tiled floor and two arched windows in background. Borders decorated with gold scrolling foliate and floreate ornament against blue background.

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