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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Book of Hours
Italy, Bologna, 1497
M.53 fol. 127v

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Christ: Nativity -- Nude Christ Child, rays as cross nimbus, reclines on cloth in wattle manger, looking up toward Virgin Mary, nimbed, hands crossed on breast looking down at Him. At His head, George of Cappadocia, nimbed, wearing armor with sword at waist, with joined hands raised, supports with left arm, spear with banner inscribed with red cross. Braying ass and ox are below shed roof behind Mary. In background, sheep and shepherd with staff are on hill at left; woman walks with man holding crutch; three (?) horsemen are visible at right.
Scene in landscape with trees and stream; hills in distance.
1) Vignette with salamander amid flames with scroll inscribed NVTRIOR.
2) Medallion enclosing knotted cord with tassles, entwined by scroll inscribed F(IDES) ET A(MOR).
3) Vignette with flowering plant with scroll inscribed SMA.
4) Medallion enclosing sheep or lamb with scroll inscribed [...]D EST PATI(OR)
5) Medallion enclosing bundle of rods with scroll inscribed VN(ITAS) F(ORTIOR).
6) Vignette with leopard, holding palm, emerging from flames below scroll inscribed SPES MEA.
7) Vignette with three broken rods with scroll inscribed D(IVISO) FRAGILIS.
Margins decorated with border of gold scroll and floreate ornament.

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