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(Germany: early 16th century). 165 x 113 mm. (6 1/2 x 4 1/2").
WITH A CHARMING MINIATURE SHOWING ADAM AND EVE BEING EVICTED FROM THE GARDEN OF EDEN BY A SWORD-WIELDING ANGEL, set within a thick gilt arch-topped frame. ◆Vellum lightly soiled and toned, gilt frame, sky, and figures with some rubbing and flaking (particularly to the Adam and the angel, revealing some underdrawing), but despite some condition issues, the leaf with a good deal of charm in its depiction of appealing and infrequently seen subject matter.
This unusual miniature illustrates the Expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, an emotional moment in which Adam brings his hands together in a sign of contrition, and Eve glances back one more time before leaving Paradise forever. Behind them, an angel in a long white robe and with colorful wings holds a menacingly long sword horizontally in the air, pointing the way out through an arched portal in the wall, a dirt path leading them away from Eden. (A sister leaf to our miniature shows Adam and Eve committing Original Sin in this same area, with this same opening in the wall clearly visible, as if foretelling their fate). The execution here is equal parts charming and rustic and probably the production of a provincial workshop. It was meant to accompany a prayerbook--possibly a Rosary (or Rosarium), a rare type of manuscript with an extended miniature program accompanying prayers all beginning "Ave Maria" or "Pater Noster." Given the unusual nature of the depiction here, this miniature presents considerable opportunity for fruitful further study. (ST17244b)