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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Farnese Hours
Italy, Rome, 1546
M.69, fol. 31r

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Augustus: Prophecy of Sibyl -- Augustus, crowned, with joined hands raised, kneels looking up toward vision of Virgin Mary holding Christ Child, in mandorla amid clouds. Sibyl, veiled, standing before and looking at Augustus, indicates the vision with her right hand. Behind them next to table or altar supported by figure, two soldiers stand holding fasces, one with axe blade; another man stands behind them. In foreground, pitcher decorated with faces (mask).
Scene before building, in landscape with ruined buildings.
Upper margin:
Winged head (mask) in center, flanked by two putti on garlands; nude man in each corner; figures decorating background.
Left margin:
Nude woman, holding pot in which plants grow, with both hands on her head, standing on pedestal decorated with head of woman.
Right margin:
Back-turned nude figure, possibly woman, wearing headdress, standing on pedestal decorated with winged head.
Lower margin:
In center, with garland draped from shoulders, winged putto holds with both hands behind his head, plaque inscribed DOMINE AD ADIVVTORIVM ME FESTINA. At left, next to helmet, satyr, the garland hanging from left shoulder, holding with left hand, basket on his back, straddles head. At right, partially nude woman, right arm resting on the garland, looks back at the putto holding with left hand vase decorated with figures and containing iris.
Text is from Hours of the Virgin, Terce.

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