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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Book of Hours
France, Bourges, ca. 1473
MS M.677 fol. 250v

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Psalm 130 (Vulg., 129):
Purgatory -- Angels lift souls from flaming tower in which are other souls amid flames (fire of purification). Outside tower is male soul, impaled on tree, and souls tormented by demons. One devil pours liquid in mouth of male soul, lying on back, arms behind him. Second devil, astride male soul, raises instrument above soul's breast. Beside him is female soul, lying on back. Third devil and male soul emerge from hole. All souls are nude.
Tower is on island surrounded by various torments. In front, souls, including one with hands joined in prayer, are immersed up to heads in steaming water. Behind, souls are immersed to heads in possibly icy water. To right, souls are amid flames. In background is grey landscape, including craggy hills (buttes).

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