3. HISTORIATED INITIAL 'P'

Glossed Epistles of St Paul, Latin Tuscany, c.1190-1200 Parchment, 32.0 x 20.5 cm 151 leaves

State Library of Victoria, *f096/B47E, fol. 85v

  This initial comes from a late 12th century Tuscan copy of the Epistles of St Paul, complete with glosses or commentaries - this was a particularly popular text and many examples survive. Decorated initials 'P' customarily introduced each of the Epistles in these manuscripts, with one initial being reserved for the author portrait. The curling white vine-stems, patterned interlace and occasional animal motifs of the decorated initials are characteristic of Italian Romanesque illumination.
    
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