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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Farnese Hours
Italy, Rome, 1546
M.69, fol. 35r

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Christ: Baptism -- Christ, head inclined, right arm raised, left hand on breast, wearing short loincloth, stands in shallow stream. Dove of Holy Ghost hovers above Him. At right, John Baptist, wearing animal skin under drape, kneeling with left leg on rock, raises right hand, pouring water from shallow basin on to head of Christ. At left, of three men looking on, two are are nude, seated back-turned on draped stones, one removes headgear, and of the third, only head, wearing headgear, is visible. At right, of three men, one looks toward Christ, another, wearing headgear, sits with back turned, and the third, nude, sits on draped stone, removing or putting on hose (?).
Upper margin:
Miniature in frame decorated at top with four putti, two holding ends of garland.
Left and right margins:
On the sides of the frame, two caryatids standing with backs to uprights of frame; head (mask) of animals possibly rams; precious stones
Lower margin:
Magi: Adoration -- In center cameo, nude Christ Child, leaning on Virgin Mary, veiled, seated, extends arm or arms toward foremost Magus kneeling before them, extending object toward Him with right hand. The other two Magi kneel behind the first. Behind Virgin Mary is figure, probably Joseph the Carpenter. In background are two camels next to figure, and another figure standing at head of horse.
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 DOMINE AD ADIVANDVM ME FESTINA. At left, figure supporting pedestal, decorated with oval enclosing man, looking over right shoulder at preceding folio, and indicating scene above with right hand; at right within oval, man, wearing hood, looking down and indicating downward with right hand, on face of pedestal supported by male figure.
Text is from Hours of the Virgin, Sext.

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