Free Library of Philadelphia


This manuscript has been dated to ca. 1500.

This miniature depicts the legend of the Three Living and the Three Dead. According to the legend, three men encounter three corpses who remind them of their own mortality. The lower compartment echoes this theme by depicting a group of skulls, traditional symbols of the "Memento mori" (Remember death) theme. The prayers written between the images, "Placebo," (I will please [the Lord]) and "Dilexi quoniam exaudit dominus..." (I have loved because the Lord will hear) begins the Office of the Dead.

The Legend of the Three Living and the Three Dead

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Rare Book Department