Decorated Incipit Page

Object Details

Title:

Decorated Incipit Page

Artist/Maker(s):

Unknown

Culture:

Ottonian

Date:

late 10th century

Medium:

Tempera colors, gold paint, silver paint, and ink on parchment

Dimensions:

Leaf: 27.8 x 19.2 cm (10 15/16 x 7 9/16 in.)

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The first page of the lectionary explains its contents with a rubric written in monumental red capitals with gold and silver infill: In d[e]i nomine incipiunt evangelia quae legenda sunt per ani circulum inter sacra missarum solemnia (In the name of God, here begin the Gospels which are read throughout the year in the holy liturgy of the Mass).

The gold and silver initial I, the first letter of the rubric, is larger than all the other letters and is treated as an angular vine-stem terminating in a duck's head on top and stylized foliage on the bottom. In a humorous touch, the duck spouts water from its beak, indicated by delicately drawn red lines. The text at the bottom of the page, in a smaller script, announces the reading that begins on the facing page. The page as a whole focuses the reader's attention on the glories of God's lessons, revealed through the Gospel readings.

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