Manuscript Illumination with Saint Dominic Saving the Church of Saint John Lateran in an Initial A, from a Gradual

Date: mid-15th century

Geography: Made in Lombardy, possibly Cremona, Italy

Culture: Italian

Medium: Tempera, ink, and gold on parchment

Dimensions: 4 5/16 x 3 11/16 in. (10.9 x 9.3 cm)
Mat: 14 × 11 in. (35.6 × 27.9 cm)

Classification: Manuscripts and Illuminations

Credit Line: Bequest of Gwynne M. Andrews, 1930

Accession Number: 31.134.5


Dominicans believe that Pope Innocent III allowed their order to be established after he dreamed that Saint Dominic saved the Church of Saint John Lateran-the pope's own parish church in Rome-from collapse by throwing his own weight against its walls. Here, the artist showed cracks in the walls, emphasizing the church's shaky foundations and the heroic efforts of the saint.