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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Picture Bible
France, Paris, ca. 1244-1254
MS M.638 fol. 3r

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Zone 1:
1) Noah: as Husbandman, and Noah: Nakedness -- Noah, with pruning hook in right hand, cuts vine on trellis; basket of grapes lies at his feet. At right, Ham, wearing cap, stands beside Noah, with bowl in right hand, reclining on ground, while Shem, wearing cap, with left hand raised to his face, with his right covers Noah with garment. Illustration of Genesis 9:20-23.
2) Tower of Babel: Building -- Among nine workmen, two carry stones on handbarrow; one with basin of mortar on shoulder mounts ladder; one splits stones with mallet and chisel; one uses carpenter's square on stone; one uses trowel; and one holds hammer and raises tray of stones by pulley connected to wheel, assisted by two others, one walking inside wheel. Above, God, nimbed, and two flanking nimbed angels emerge from clouds. Illustration of Genesis 11:3-6.
Zone 2:
1) Abraham: sacrificing Isaac -- Youthful attendant, hooded, sits, holding rein of ass laden with faggots. Isaac carries faggots. Nimbed angel in clouds points to ram caught in tree at left and grasps sword in right hand of Abraham, who with his left hand is seizing head of Isaac kneeling on altar.
Illustration of Genesis 23:3-14.
2) Lot: captured by Kings -- Six kings, in mail, mounted, one with shield (gules) on caparisoned horse, lead away Lot, his wife, and five armored attendants, some with ropes about necks. Two men with club and halberd and helmet lead two children. Tent in background. Illustration of Genesis 14:12.
Scenes with architectural frames.

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