Oct 15, 2020

Leaf from a Gradual: Historiated Initial R: Initial D (verso)

Leaf from a Gradual: Historiated Initial R: Initial D (verso)


Part of a set. See all set records

Ink, tempera, and gold on parchment

Sheet: 55 x 40 cm (21 5/8 x 15 3/4 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1954.145.b


Did you know?

The Virgin Mary is shown twice on this leaf, once at the top standing to the side of the open tomb and again in bottom border, crowned and holding the infant Christ.


This leaf was taken from a gradual, a large volume containing songs for the mass. This single leaf shows the introductory passage for Easter Sunday. The initial R is filled with the representation of the resurrection of Christ. The depiction of Saint Francis of Assisi in the floral decoration points to an origin from a Franciscan monastery. Due to the great plague, the mendicant orders to which the Franciscans belonged were the recipients of civil charitable donations. Naples, where the leaf is said to have been made, was struck by a severe earthquake around the middle of the 1300s, in addition to the plague.

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