Rothschild Canticles (f. 3v): Silvanus watering the garden
Original Country
Sorting Title
Rothschild Canticles (f. 3v): Silvanus watering the garden

Description: A bearded and hooded hermit carries a basket over his left arm as he covers his eyes with his left hand and waters the leafy foliage at his feet with a bowl of water.

Interpretation: The image illustrates the virtue of sobriety. Asked by his disciple to water the gardens, Silvanus does so with his eyes covered to avoid distractions.

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.
This 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. 3r): A hermit sustained by an angelRothschild 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. 3v): Silvanus watering the garden.