Bifolium with Christ in Majesty in an Initial A, from an Antiphonary


Not on view

With rich color and gold, this leaf from a choir book joins majesty and mystery with a sense of playfulness. The letter A becomes a throne for Christ, robed in silks, as he sits before a cloth of gold held by barely perceptible crimson angels. Meanwhile, in the margins, a gentle black bear perches on a vine; nearby is a lizard and a hunter aiming his arrow at a crane. This was the first page of a richly decorated book of hymns. The text set to music here was sung on the first Sunday of Advent, the season preceding Christmas.

The kneeling abbot was added later, obscuring the image of the original, unknown donor underneath.

Bifolium with Christ in Majesty in an Initial A, from an Antiphonary, Tempera, gold, and ink on parchment, Bohemian

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