Job in Prayer
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Follower of the Egerton Master
French, Paris, about 1410
Tempera colors, gold leaf, and gold paint on parchment
7 1/2 x 5 1/2 in.

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Kneeling on the grass, Job prays to God, who is shown above emerging from a star-studded cloud. The intricate background consists of twisting golden acanthus forms on a deep blue ground. The miniature accompanies the first of several readings from the Old Testament Book of Job. Although this was a traditional component of the Office of the Dead, at the time this manuscript was made illuminations featuring Job himself were not a standard feature of the text. The first reading begins with the plea Parce mihi domine: "Spare me, Lord, for my days are nothing. What is man that you should magnify him? Or why do you set your heart upon him?" (Job 7:16-21)