Tempera and gold leaf with brown ink on parchment
Page: 18 9/16 x 11 7/16 in. (47.2 x 29.2 cm)
Gift of John L. Feldman, 1990 (1990.217)
A manual of medieval canon law, the Decretals of Gratian was compiled by a monk who taught at Bologna in the mid-twelfth century. This page from a thirteenth-century Parisian manuscript of the Decretals shows a gloss, or commentary, written by Bartolomeo of Brescia, framing Gratian's text. The miniature painting signals the beginning of chapter 19, which discusses two clerics' request from their bishop to transfer to a monastery. The bishop's prerogative is manifest in the miniature: mitered and enthroned, he holds a crosier and a document with a seal, as he gestures toward the two kneeling clerics, who appear to petition him with raised hands.