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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Vitae patrum
Italy, Naples, between 1350 and 1375
MS M.626 fol. 127r

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1) Drythelm of Northumbria: Scene, giving Alms to Poor -- At left, within bedroom, Drythelm of Northumbria, nimbed, wearing cap, seated on draped bed with pillow, two chests before the bed, with left hand extending purse to extended hands of man beside woman, wearing headdress, and with right hand extending coin to extended left hand of pilgrim, wearing tattered clothing and pilgrim’s scrip decorated with scallop shell, partly kneeling, leaning on staff with right hand, accompanied by group of poor men including cripple, bandaged head, possibly wearing pilgrim’s scrip, with left arm on crutch; wall niche enclosing vase in background.
2) Drythelm of Northumbria: Scene, ordained Monk -- At right, bishop, mitered, wearing vestments, seated on draped bench, with right hand holding scissors, cutting tonsure into head of Drythelm of Northumbria, nimbed, wearing monk’s habit, with joined hands raised, kneeling. They are flanked by monk, holding crozier, and group of monks (most with only heads visible), possibly two chanting, all tonsured and wearing monk’s habits.
Scenes in common landscape framed by two trees.
Illustration at beginning of Bede, Vision of Drythelm.

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