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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Vita S. Benedicti
Italy, perhaps in Padua, ca. 1450
MS M.184 fol. 19r

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Benedict of Montecassino: Scene, Devil weighing down Stone -- Among nine men, two wear hats, four are tonsured, wearing monk’s habits, one holds column at left, and one sits in foreground holding tool (possibly chisel), four use levers to lift stone on which is devil in disguise of ram, standing on its hindlegs, with flames issuing from mouth, ears and hindquarters. To right, Benedict of Montecassino, nimbed, wearing hooded monk’s habit, raises right hand in blessing, accompanied by two monks (only heads visible). Scene in landscape with two short pickaxes strewn in foreground, two broken columns in background, fruit trees and bushes. Miniature within frame for Chapter 9 of Book II of Dialogues; How the prayer of Benedict of Montecassino moved a huge stone weighed down by devil.

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