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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Farnese Hours
Italy, Rome, 1546
M.69, fol. 34v

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Christ: Circumcision -- Nude Christ Child, arms extended, is held on altar by Joseph the Carpenter while High Priest, wearing miter decorated with precious stones and crescent, standing on other side of the altar, holds His penis with left hand and knife with right hand. Virgin Mary, veiled and wearing wimple, eyes cast down, stands next to and slightly behind Joseph. Behind them is group including four women, veiled, one with wimple, three looking toward viewer, and men, some only tops of head visible, some wearing hood, some wearing headgear, one looking up, another watching circumcision, and others talking among themselves. Of two other men standing between columns overlooking the crowd, one grasps column. In niche in background is statue of Moses, seated, holding Tables of Law, one in each hand resting on his lap.
Scene in temple or church with colonnade.
Upper margin:
Miniature in frame decorated at top with four putti, two holding ends of garland from which hangs medallion enclosing two figures, one possibly holding harp.
Left and right margins:
On the sides of the frame, two caryatids standing with backs to uprights of frame; head of animals possibly rams (mask); precious stones
Lower margin:
In center, cameo with nude Christ Child, raising right hand, holding cross surmounted globe with left hand and sitting on cushioned bench, flanked by figures, with joined hands raised, kneeling. Cameo decorated with drapery emerging from mouth of mask and is flanked by two putti, one back-turned, holding plaque above, decorated with winged head, and inscribed DEVUS IN ADIVTORIVM MEVM INTENDE. At left, figure supporting pedestal, decorated with oval enclosing man and youth, probably Joseph the Carpenter and Christ Child (Holy Family); at right enclosed in oval, woman, veiled, probably Virgin Mary (Holy Family), decorating pedestal supported by male figure.

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