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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Book of Hours
Germany, possibly Bamberg, 1204-1219
MS M.739 fol. 20r

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Zone 1:
1) Christ: Nativity -- Virgin Mary, nimbed, veiled, reclines on mattress, with her head resting on her right hand. She extends her left hand to Christ Child, nimbed, swaddled, in crib before ass and ox flanking star; to right, Joseph the Carpenter, nimbed, tonsured (?), sits (?) with right hand on tau-staff.
Scene caption, inscribed HIE IST VNSER HERRE GEBORN.
2) Shepherds: Annunciation -- Nimbed angel with right hand extended descends from clouds toward two standing shepherds, one with right hand raised and pedum in left hand, and the other, wearing pointed cap and coat of fur, holding pedum, before two rams nibbling trees.
Zone 2:
3) Magi: Adoration -- Three crowned magi, the first beardless, inscribed BALTHASAR, the second inscribed MELCHIOR, and the third as the eldest and shortest, inscribed BARTHASAR, all bear gifts, before Virgin Mary, name inscribed MARIA, wearing cross-inscribed veil, seated on cushioned bench with footstool, holding on her lap Christ Child, nimbed, raising His right hand; star above.
4) Christ: Flight into Egypt -- Virgin Mary, name inscribed MARIA, nimbed, wearing cross-inscribed veil, holds nimbed Christ Child with His arms around her neck and sits sideways on bridled ass following Joseph the Carpenter, name inscribed IOSEPH, nimbed, tonsured (?), carrying bundle on stick over his shoulder.
Zone 3:
5) Innocents: Massacre -- Herod the Great, name inscribed HERODES, crowned, sits on cushioned bench, holds floreate scepter in left hand, and extends right hand toward two men, wearing tunics, each piercing child with sword; mourning mother grasps hand of dismembered child; parts of bodies on ground.

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