Art/ Collection/ Art Object

The Trinity in an Initial B

Master of the Codex Rossiano (Sienese, active ca. 1380–1400)
Probably 1387
Italian, Siena
Tempera and gold on parchment
Cutting: 10 9/16 x 10 1/16 in. (26.8 x 25.5cm) Initial: 10 x 9 9/16 in. (25.4 x 24.3cm) Stave: 1 7/16 in. (3.6cm)
Manuscripts and Illuminations
Credit Line:
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975 1975.1.2476
Accession Number:
Not on view
The initial B marks the beginning of the introit to the Mass for Trinity Sunday: Benedicta sit sancta Trinitas ("Blessed be the Holy Trinity").
In the upper half of the initial, the three persons of the Trinity are seated on a throne of red seraphim, and below them are ten angels dressed in white. In the upper corners of the gold border, two bust-length prophets gesture toward the Trinity; partially visible in the lower left corner is the bust-length figure of a white-clad Olivetan monk. This cutting is one of eleven surviving fragments from a lost Gradual painted about 1387 for the Olivetan monastery of San Miniato al Monte in Florence.
Inscription: Annotated (on verso): ce [m] eius audis al / sed nescis unde / aut quo va

Marking: Annotated in the right margin of the verso in ink in a later hand: 97
[A.S. Drey, Munich]. Acquired by Robert Lehman from Drey in 1924.
Sandra Hindman, Chicago, Mirella Levi D'Ancona, Pia Palladino, and Maria Francesca Saffiotti. "Illuminations." Robert Lehman Collection. IV, New York, 1997.

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