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A Man Slaughtering a Pig; Zodiacal Sign of Capricorn
Master of the Brussels Initials (Italian, active about 1389 - 1410)
between 1389 and 1404
Tempera colors, gold leaf, gold paint, and ink on parchment
Leaf: 33 x 24 cm (13 x 9 7/16 in.)
The slaughter scene at the bottom of the page, a typical activity for the month of December, is an unpleasant subject, but the illuminator has imbued it with a quiet dignity. A horned animal under the sun, elsewhere on the page, represents the constellation Capricorn. This is the zodiacal sign for the period beginning on December 17. The inscription next to the beast reads: Sol in capricorno (the sun in Capricorn). The most important feasts of the month are written in red.
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