Leaf from an antiphonary
Tempera, gold, and ink on parchment
9 5/16 x 13 9/16 in. (49 x 34.5 cm)
Bequest of Mrs. A. M. Minturn, 1890 (90.61.3)
The initial A of this leaf from an antiphonary contains an intimate image of the Virgin Mary embracing her cousin Elizabeth, known as the Visitation. Created in Venice around 1400, it was produced shortly after the universal celebration of the Feast of the Visitation was decreed by Pope Urban VI in 1389. The English cardinal Adam Easton, who wrote the office of the feast, is depicted in red in the central medallion at the bottom of the folio. He is flanked by Saint Dominic and another saint belonging to the order, suggesting that the antiphonary was created for Dominican use.