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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Farnese Hours
Italy, Rome, 1546
M.69, fol. 4v

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Virgin Mary: Annunciation -- Archangel Gabriel, left hand on breast, raising right hand, indicating infant (?) in sky, approaches Virgin Mary, veiled, right hand on breast, kneeling at prie-dieu on which is open book, and which is decorated with putto, winged, standing with arms crossed on breast. Dove of Holy Ghost hovers amid rays above Virgin Mary. In background is canopied bed.
Scene in room with coffered ceiling, open through doorway to landscape with circular domed building in background.
Upper margin:
Two putti, beneath canopy, standing on platform flanked by two seated nude figures, supporting head on hand; nude (?) man extending blue fleur-de-lis to semi-reclining nude figure; basin or bowl with two handles terminating in masks; back-turned, semi-reclining nude figure extending blue fleur-de-lis with left hand to a figure partially hidden by drapery held by another nude figure, backturned.
Left margin:
Veiled female figure, possibly sibyl, standing with legs crossed in niche, indicating Annunciation with right hand.
Right margin:
Two winged heads at top and bottom of frame in which is relief of veiled female figure, possibly sibyl.
Lower margin:
In center, escutcheon with heraldry of Alessandro Farnese (or, six fleurs-de-lis azure), surmounted by cardinal's hat, and surrounded by red cord with red tassels. At left five putti, one handing basket or bowl of flowers including blue fleur-de-lis to another putti sitting backturned. Winged head amid floreate garland from which hangs cord, decorated with jewel. At right, four putti, one handing another blue fleur-de-lis and third and fourth holding basket or bowl containing flowers, including blue fleur-de-lis. Winged head amid floreate garland, from which hangs cord, decorated with jewel and terminating with tassel.

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