Book of Hours of Louis of Orleans

Book of Hours of Louis of Orleans f. 17r. The derision of Noah


f. 17r. The derision of Noah

This scene appears above the text of the lectio tertia and shows a background featuring a large fortified city surrounded by a river and in the foreground the sleeping Noah and one of his sons bending over him to cover his nakedness. Two other brothers stand behind: one of these, probably Ham, points at his father and seems to laugh, whereas the other one simply looks on and places his hand on his brother’s arm near the shoulder to force him to change his attitude.
As can be seen, the miniature differs from the Bible story according to which it was the two brothers, Shem and Japheth, who covered their farther without looking at him. The scene, , nevertheless, is not too different from the traditional representations depicting the patriarch asleep with his belly uncovered – revealing what was called genitalia in Latin-, Ham mocks him and calls his brothers, who approach incedentes retrorsum, so as not to see their father’s nakedness, and cover him with a blanket.

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