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Four Saints in a Historiated Initial "P" from a Choirbook or Antiphonal

A work made of manuscript cutting in tempera and gold leaf, with gold paint, with rounded gothica textualis inscriptions in black ink, ruled in red, on parchment.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of manuscript cutting in tempera and gold leaf, with gold paint, with rounded gothica textualis inscriptions in black ink, ruled in red, on parchment.

Date:

1460/80

Artist:

Northern Italian (likely Lombardy)
Bartolomeo Rigossi da Gallarte (Italian, active 1460/80)

About this artwork

Late medieval music manuscripts for celebrating the Christian Mass frequently included large historiated (or illustrated) initials, like this letter “P” that contains an image of four saints.

It was a common practice to cut out these elaborate initials, particularly in the 19th century, to display individually or use to make a collage. Scholars today are actively trying to reconstruct these cut-up manuscripts; this cutting, for instance, comes from the same manuscript as four other illuminated letters now at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

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Prints and Drawings

Artist

Paolo De Ascone

Title

Four Saints in a Historiated Initial "P" from a Choirbook or Antiphonal

Origin

Italy

Date

1435–1465

Medium

Manuscript cutting in tempera and gold leaf, with gold paint, with rounded gothica textualis inscriptions in black ink, ruled in red, on parchment

Dimensions

153 × 151 mm (buckled)

Credit Line

Bequest of Chester D. Tripp

Reference Number

1988.307.2

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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