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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Vita S. Benedicti
Italy, perhaps in Padua, ca. 1450
MS M.184 fol. 12v

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Miniature, left compartment: Benedict of Montecassino: Scene, Miracle of Iron -- Amid trees, workman, possibly laybrother, wearing cap, with knife and rosary tied to belt at waist, raises axe handle, its iron head submerged in water. To right, the workman holds handle, kneeling before Benedict of Montecassino, nimbed, wearing hooded monk’s habit, with left hand holding book. Miniature, right compartment: Benedict of Montecassino, nimbed, wearing hooded monk’s habit, lowers axe handle toward submerged iron head to draw it up, accompanied by Maurus of Glanfeuil, nimbed, wearing monk’s habit, looking up with joined hands raised, and by workman, wearing cap, with rosary and knife tied to belt at waist, with arms crossed on breast. Scenes in hilly landscape with buildings, including monastery and churches, in background. Miniature within frame for Chapter 6 of Book II of Dialogues; Benedict of Montecassino performs his first miracle of drawing up iron head of axe from water.

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