17 November 2004
JOHN THE EVANGELIST, historiated initial E on a leaf from an ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT CHOIRBOOK ON VELLUM
530 x 370mm (leaf), 115 x 105mm (initial). John the Evangelist, seated on the steps of a lectern his feet on an orange cushion, writes on a scroll resting on the desktop below an inkpot, he holds a penknife and quill; all against a background of pink rimmed with blue within staves of pink against an outer ground of blue framed with a red fillet; two-sided part-border of green, grey, orange, pink and blue; six lines of text in brown ink in a round gothic bookhand and six lines of music of square notation on a four-line stave of red; rubrics in red; capitals touched red, on verso one-line flourished initials of red with lilac and blue with red (small loss of pigment from one acanthus curl of the border, fold across centre of leaf, small ink losses from some letters, lower and upper margins thumbed and creased).
This initial introduced the responsory Ecce ego mitto vos sicut oves for the first nocturne of the Common of Apostles in an Antiphonal.
This initial is the work of one of the anonymous illuminators who decorated choirbooks for the convent of San Domenico in Bologna towards the end of the first quarter of the 14th century. Named after his work in these choirbooks, he has been called the Fourth Master of San Domenico: P.V. Alce and P.A. D'Amato, La Biblioteca di S. Domenico in Bologna, 1961, pp.143-45. He is believed to be identical with the illuminator known as the Master of 1328, whose activity extended beyond 1340, and to whom a significant body of Bolognese manuscripts has been attributed: M. Medica, Haec Sunt Statuta: Le corporazioni medievali nelle miniature bolognesi, 1999, p.120.
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