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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Vita S. Benedicti
Italy, perhaps in Padua, ca. 1450
MS M.184 fol. 18r

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Benedict of Montecassino: Scene, Destruction of Idol, Idol destroyed -- Among six men, three wearing hats, one rests axe over right shoulder and two raise right hands beside Benedict of Montecassino, nimbed, wearing hooded monk’s habit, holding book with left hand and with right hand raising rod to strike golden idol of Apollo, nude, wearing wreath on head, mounted on column in architectural niche. Four other men, including two tonsured monks, wearing habits, raise pickaxes or rods and surround the idol. In foreground, one tonsured monk, wearing habit, cuts tree with knife held with right hand, and one man, wearing tunic, lowers axe to tree stump. Scene in grassy landscape with trees and bushes. Miniature within frame for Chapter 8 of Book II of Dialogues; Benedict of Montecassino and his monks destroy the idol of Apollo in the town of Montecassino.

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