Bible moralisée of Naples

Bible moralisée of Naples f. 70v (Ex. 25: 31-40)

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f. 70v (Ex. 25: 31-40)

“Here God commands Moses to make the candelabrum with seven branches and seven roundels and seven candlesticks and with seven flowers and seven burning lamps and snuffers and he orders Gizero to make it and he does.”

Gloss:
“The candelabrum carrying light signifies the mother of God who carries the whole world, the seven branches signify the seven virtues, one of the branches signifies good age. The other, good youth which must help the third a little, those who break the bonds of the world. The fourth is the one that treads the world beneath its feet. The fifth wisdom, the sixth charity, the seventh virginity. The candlesticks are the prelates who preach to the world, the oil signifies baptism, the roundels that turn are those who receive the torment of the world, the snuffers for the lamps are those who rouse Christians from their sins by confession.”
We have already dwelt upon the peculiar interpretation of the making of the seven-branched candelabrum on pp. 63-65. The Fatherhood of God divine depicted earlier, strangely enough, in the moralisation of the ark, is repeated here in an even more peculiar manner that contradicts the first line of the gloss which clearly likens the candelabrum bearing the light to the Mother of God who bears the whole world.

Yves Christe
University of Geneva
Marianne Besseyre
Illuminated Manuscripts Research Center, Bibliothèque nationale de France
Fragment of the Bible moralisée of Naples commentary volume


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