Rothschild Canticles (f. 3r): A hermit sustained by an angel
Original Country
Sorting Title
Rothschild Canticles (f. 3r): A hermit sustained by an angel

Description: In the top half of the miniature a reclining monk on the right gestures a group of other similarly bearded and hooded hermits on the left. In the lower half, an angel iwth its wings spanning the width of the picture plane kneels and attends to a frying pan.

Interpretation: Illustration of the Vitae Patrum, unaccompanied by text. The image illustrates the virtue of patience. For 30 days a monk fasted alone in his cell, nourished by an angel. His brothers, thinking him dead come to visit and break down the door despite the monk's protests. The angel vanishes and the old man chastises his visiters for driving away his angelic visitor, then dies.

Creation Date
ca. 1300
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.
The image belongs to a set of 6 drawings on inferior parchment later added to the beginning of the original 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. 3v): Silvanus watering the gardenRothschild Canticles (f. 4r): Paul, the first hermit, John, and the lion


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. 3r): A hermit sustained by an angel.