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Collections | Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Saul Slaying Nahash image

Saul Slaying Nahash and the Ammonites; Samuel Anoints Saul and Sacrifices to the Lord
Old Testament miniatures with Latin, Persian, and Judeo-Persian inscriptions
France, Paris, 1240s
390 x 300 mm
Purchased by J. P. Morgan, Jr., 1916; MS M.638 (fol. 23v)

See more images from this manuscript in the online exhibition The Morgan Picture Bible
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In what is perhaps the most dramatic battle scene in the Morgan Picture Bible, Saul cleaves the skull of the fleeing Nahash with his sword. Nahash's companions are also attacked from the right by a company entering from the gateway of Jabesh-Gilead. In the left border, a man is raised off the ground as he catapults a huge stone. At the bottom, Saul is publicly anointed by Samuel, and peace offerings are sacrificed before the Lord; the head of God appearing from clouds on the right, curiously, has been supplied with the cruciform halo of Christ.

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The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.