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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Farnese Hours
Italy, Rome, 1546
M.69, fol. 79v

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Personification of death, as skeleton, holding scythe with right hand, resting left hand on left knee, body partially draped, is seated on throne, right foot resting on papal tiara, left foot on or next to crown. Flanking the throne are two mourners, hooded, each holding draped hand to face. Before the throne are articles of clothing (garments); armor, including helmets; breastplate, and shields, one round with face; weapons, including sword; eccesiastical vestments and utensils, including tiara, miters, cross staff; symbols of governance, including crowns, scepters, ceremonial mace. In foreground recline nude bodies of men, women and children.
Upper margin:
Skull, flanked by four putti, two leaning on the skull, two weeping. All are flanked by two heads (mask), mouths wide open.
Left and right margins:
Mourner, hooded, holding draped hands to face, only feet visible, standing on pedestal supported by winged lion.
Lower margin:
Sarcophagus on top of which is reclining statue; between legs of the sarcophagus is winged skull flanked by two bones. Flanking the sarcophagus are two putti, weeping, each holding upended torch.

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