Damselflies and snails, damsels and devils

Detail from the miniature of the Adoration of the Magi from the Huth Hours, Flemish, c1485. Add. MS 38126 f.83v
Detail from the miniature of the Adoration of the Magi from the Huth Hours, Flemish, c1485.
Add. MS 38126 f.83v
In this third and final visit to the Huth Hours illuminated manuscript (Part I and Part II here) we find that it was not only flowers and birds that have been carefully illustrated. The Master artist, Simon Marmion, along with the other Flemish artisans who painted this fascinating Books of Hours, depicted the delicate damselfly

along with the odd snail or two

and a nuisance fly.

And, finally I couldn’t leave the Huth Hours without showing at least one saint and I’ve chosen St Anthony. This representation of the Temptation of St Anthony shows a very green, Lowlands countryside and the devil dressed as a lady of the late-fifteenth century (see the clawed foot poking out from under the cloth of gold gown). Perhaps an Egyptian desert landscape and historically attired devil temptress would have been too distracting for the devotions of the Northern European reader of this Book of Hours.

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