Rothschild Canticles (f. 150r): Hermit with the couple who sinned in his cell (?)
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Rothschild Canticles (f. 150r): Hermit with the couple who sinned in his cell (?)

Description: A man and woman flank a hooded and bearded hermit in a small enclosure.

Interpretation: A couple visits a hermit and the three sleep together with the hermit between the couple to discourage temptation. The couple manage to fornicate regardless and when they ask the hermit later if he witnessed their sin, the hermit replies that his thoughts were on the crucified Christ the entire time.

Creation Date
c. 1300
Style Genre
Work Type
ca. 118 x 84 mm
Format Medium


Original Location

Flanders or Upper Rhineland

Related Work

Illustrations of the Vitae Patrum, lives of the desert fathers, or ascetic lives of hermit saints. The illustrations are unaccompanied by text, but serve as reminders to readers of the arduous nature of the contemplative ascent. There are 23 drawings scattered on the reverse folios left blank during the construction of the manuscript.
Rothschild Canticles (f.1v): Macarius and the angel on earthRothschild Canticles( f.2r): The hermit, a young man, and a donkeyRothschild Canticles (f. 2v): John Colobos watering the dry stockRothschild Canticles (f. 3r): A hermit sustained by an angelRothschild Canticles (f. 3v): Silvanus watering the gardenRothschild Canticles (f. 4r): Paul, the first hermit, John, and the lionRothschild Canticles (f. 8r): Hermit playing the foolRothschild Canticles (f. 9r): The seven crowns of obedienceRothschild Canticles (f. 10r): The hermit as the suffering assRothschild Canticles (f. 11r): The hermit who counted his footstepsRothschild Canticles (f. 27r): "Good works are like leaves" (?)Rothschild Canticles (f. 28r): Hermit in tree hermitage attacked by a bird (?)Rothschild Canticles (f. 31r): Anthony buries Paul, the first hermitRothschild Canticles (f. 32r): A Hermit burns his fingers to avoid temptationRothschild Canticles (f. 52r): Simeon Stylites and the king of the SaracensRothschild Canticles (f. 53r): Hermits ringing the monastery bellRothschild Canticles (f. 122r): Hermit building on the foundation of meditation, work, and prayerRothschild Canticles (f. 123r): Macarius and the thief


Collection of William Alexander Douglas, Duke of Hamilton and Brandon.
Reverend Walter Sneyd, gift from Douglas in 1856.
Sotheby, sold 16 December 1903, no.513 Bernard Quaritch, London.
Collection of Edmond de Rothschild, MS 98, sold 24 June 1968 no.1 in Paris, Palais GalliƩra.
Acquired from H.P. Kraus in 1968 as the gift of Edwin J. Beinecke.

Current Repository

Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University

Repository Number
MS 404
Image of Rothschild Canticles (f. 150r): Hermit with the couple who sinned in his cell (?).