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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Hours of Henry VIII
France, Tours, ca. 1500
MS H.8 fol. 2r

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Month, Occupation: March -- Man, standing on bench, ties vines to arbor with detached vines, some of which are held in belt. His knife is on bench beside him. In vineyard, two men, wearing hat and cap, prune vines with knives. Between them is cask. Third man, knife in belt, back turned, repairs fence.
Figures within landscape.
Below miniature, historiated border frames calendar.
Left border:
1) Albinus of Angers, nimbed, wearing bishop's miter and vestments, holds crozier in left hand. Feast celebrated March 1.
2) Two of Forty Martyrs of Sebaste, both nimbed, one (fully visible), joins hands. Feast celebrated March 9.
3) Gregory the Great: celebrating Mass (extending into lower border) -- Christ, nimbed, as Man of Sorrows, appears amid rays of light above altar before which Gregory the Great, nimbed, kneels with joined hands. Chalice and book are on altar. Feast celebrated March 12.
Right margin:
1) Anselmus of Lucca, nimbed, wearing bishop's miter and vestements, raises right hand in blessing and holds crozier in left hand. Feast celebrated March 18.
2) Empress Helena, nimbed, crowned, holds staff in right hand and grasps garment with left hand. Feast celebrated May 22 but mistakenly entered in calendar on March 31.
3) Virgin Mary: Annunciation (extending into lower margin) -- Virgin Mary, nimbed, joined hands raised, open book on lap, is seated before Angel Gabriel, holding staff surmounted by fleur-de-lis, extending his right hand, pointing, towards her. Dove of Holy Ghost flies amid rays of light between them. Feast of the Annunciation celebrated March 25.
Lower margin:
1) Saint, nimbed, possibly Longinus, half-figure, holding object in left hand.
2) Zodiac Sign: Aries -- Ram within roundel.

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