Christ and a Monk and Two Shepherds
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Unknown illuminator
Franco-Flemish, Thérouanne?, about 1270
Tempera colors, gold leaf, and ink on parchment
7 1/2 x 5 5/8 in.

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At the top of this miniature, Christ and a monk hold up an abbot's crozier, symbolic of a shepherd's crook. Below on the left, sheep and ar vigilant shepherd and dog represent a good flock. On the right, a slumbering, neglectful keeper and his seated watchdog fail to monitor a herd of bad goats. The only full-page miniature in the manuscript, this frontispiece heralds Hugo de Fouilloy's Treatise On Shepherds And Flocks, a mystical commentary on certain verses of the Roman author Virgil's Ninth Eclogue. The illumination draws its imagery of Christ as a shepherd and the separation of sheep and goats from the Bible. In Hugo's discussion, Christ is a model for an abbot who is shepherd to his monks. The two shepherds depicted represent the qualities of vigilance and neglect.