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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Hours of Henry VIII
France, Tours, ca. 1500
MS H.8 fol. 69v

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Innocents: Massacre -- Soldier, in armor, placing left hand on woman, grasps infant, swaddled and wrapped in stole with pseudo-inscriptions, held in her left arm. She grasps soldier's right hand. To left, woman, clasped hands at chin, mourns dead infant in her lap. To right, and behind first woman, third woman holds infant in arms as soldier grasps its left arm and pierces it with sword held in his right hand. Third soldier to left, standing, glances upwards. Bloodied bodies of three deceased infants lie amid figures.
Beyond ruins and trees, within which stands fourth soldier, Virgin Mary, nimbed, veiled, back turned, sits sideways on ass lead by Joseph the Carpenter, carrying staff over shoulder.
In background is landscape with buildings.
Miniature within illusionistic frame.

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