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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Vita S. Benedicti
Italy, perhaps in Padua, ca. 1450
MS M.184 fol. 5v

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1) Benedict of Montecassino: Scene, Devil breaking Bell -- Beside cross-surmounted church on top of hill, horned devil heaves stone in right hand toward bell attached to basket of food lowered by Romanus of Subiaco, bearded, tonsured, wearing monk’s habit, toward Benedict of Montecassino, nimbed, wearing monk’s habit, kneeling in mouth of cave, before altar (?) and cross. 2) Benedict of Montecassino: Scene, in Cave at Subiaco -- Below, to left, Benedict of Montecassino, nimbed, wearing monk’s habit, raises club with right hand approaching two bears, a third bear crouching at shore of stream. Scene in hilly landscape with trees and with rabbit and fox on rocky ledges. Miniature within frame for Chapter 1 of Book II of Dialogues; Romanus of Subiaco lowers food in basket with bell to Benedict of Montecassino living in cave. A devil attempts to intercept the basket by breaking the bell, so Benedict would not hear it being lowered.

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