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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Vita S. Benedicti
Italy, perhaps in Padua, ca. 1450
MS M.184 fol. 43r

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Benedict of Montecassino: Scene, giving Rule -- Beneath rayed arc of heaven out of which emerges group of angels surrounding half-figure of Christ, cross-nimbed, raising right hand in blessing and holding scroll with left hand, the arc emitting rays and flames toward standing Benedict of Montecassino, nimbus with rays, tonsured and bearded, wearing vestment with morse over monk’s habit, raising right hand and cradling book in left arm, flanked by nimbed and tonsured monk, possibly Maurus of Glanfeuil, wearing vestment over habit, extending miter and another Placidus of Sicily, holding crozier in right hand, with floreate ornament in crook, and palm in left hand. In foreground, two groups of kneeling men, including tonsured monks, wearing habits, and laybrothers, wearing red garments, one wearing red cap, most with joined hands raised. Miniature within frame at end of Chapter 36 of Book II of Dialogues; Benedict of Montecassino wrote a rule for his monks to teach what he has lived.

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