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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Book of Hours
France, Rouen, 1470-1480
MS M.312 fol. 76r

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Jesse: Tree -- Jesse, sleeping, seated in chair, supports head with right hand and holds staff in left hand. Tree grows from his back and from branches are flowers from which emerge half-figures of ancestors of Christ, all crowned, including David with harp.In central branch Virgin Mary, nimbed and crowned, and Christ Child, nimbed, both appear within mandorla, rayed. They are flanked by two angels who touch the Virgin's crown.
Below, prophets, some holding inscribed scrolls, surround Jesse. Only three scrolls have fully legible inscriptions, each held by prophet to right of Jesse. First prophet holds scroll ECCE MARIA GEN(UIT). Second prophet holds scroll inscribed GERMINAUIT DAVID. Third prophet holds scroll inscribed UIRGO PEPERIT SALUATOR(EM).
Marginal vignettes (counter-clockwise from upper left):
1) Creation Scene -- God, nimbed, wearing triple-crown tiara, stands in landscape setting, with right hand raised in blessing toward disk, rayed, made up of concentric circles, the outermost of which contains stars.
2) Adam and Eve: Fall of Man -- Adam, nude, extends right hand toward Eve, nude, holding fruit in extended left hand, her right hand raised toward winged serpent with female head (Lilith), entwined around tree. Scene in landscape setting.
3) Adam and Eve: at Labor -- Eve, clothed, sits on ground and spins with spindle and distaff. Adam, clothed, digs with spade. Scene in landscape setting with shed.
4) Cain: killing Abel -- Cain, wearing hat, raises jawbone in both hands to strike Abel, kneeling on ground, grasping bundle of grain. Scene in landscape setting.
5) Adam and Eve: Expulsion --Angel, in front of Gate of Paradise, raises sword in right hand and extends left hand toward Adam, nude, beside Eve, nude, raising right hand. Scene in landscape setting.
6) Adam and Eve: commanded by God -- God, nimbed, wearing triple-crown tiara, stands in landscape setting beside tree. His right hand is raised in blessing, and he approaches Adam, raising right hand, and Eve, raising left hand and covering her nakedness with her right hand. Scene in landscape setting.
7) Eve: Creation -- Adam, nude, reclines on the ground beside Eve, kneeling, raising her joined hands toward God, nimbed, wearing triple-crown tiara, with right hand raised in blessing. Scene in landscape setting.
8) Creation Scene: 6th Day -- God, nimbed, wearing triple-crown tiara, within world represented with animals, birds, and fish in water.
Two birds in decorated initial L.

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