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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Piccolomini breviary
Italy, Lombardy, ca. 1475
MS M.799 fol. 281r

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John Baptist: Birth -- Within initial D, midwife holds swaddled infant John Baptist, nimbed. Second midwife (?), holding pitcher with right hand, stands on far side of draped bed in which Elizabeth, nimbed and veiled is seated, next to basin (?).
Medallion in upper left margin enclosing swaddled infant John Baptist, nimbed, amid rays; in lower left margin, medallion enclosing profile half-figure of woman, wearing headdress, right hand extended. Medallions linked by red band decorated with pearls and gemstone, bust of man flanked by two cornucopias, foliage, and vase.
Text is collect from first Vespers for 06.24, feast of birth of John Baptist.
Pen-flourished initials.

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