Decorated Initial S

Object Details

Title:

Decorated Initial S

Artist/Maker(s):

Unknown

Culture:

Italian

Place(s):

Rome, Lazio, Italy (Place created)

Date:

late 15th or early 16th century

Medium:

Tempera colors, gold leaf, and ink on parchment bound between original wood boards covered with brown leather

Dimensions:

Leaf: 64.1 x 43.5 cm (25 1/4 x 17 1/8 in.)

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The introit for Pentecost in this gradual opens with the words: Spiritus domini replevit orbe[m] terraru[m] (The spirit of the Lord filled the whole world). The decorated initial S is a flourish of classically inspired arabesques and horns. Mimicking the sense of the text, the S nearly fills the entire space relegated to it. The illuminator Antonio da Monza contained the exuberant curvilinear forms of the initial within an illusionistic frame that seems to project from the page. Da Monza drew on an antique visual vocabulary made popular by the recent discovery of the Golden House of Nero in Rome.

Related Works
Education Resources

Education Resource

Subjects

Grades

Format

Our Illuminated Alphabet

Visual Arts; English–Language Arts

K-2

Three/Five-Part Lesson