The J. Paul Getty Museum

Initial L: The Baptism of Saint Augustine

Object Details

Title:

Initial L: The Baptism of Saint Augustine

Artist/Maker:

Master of the Osservanza (Italian, active 2nd quarter of the 15th century)

Culture:

Italian

Place:

Siena, Tuscany, Italy (Place Created)

Date:

about 1430

Medium:

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

Object Number:

Ms. 39 (90.MS.41), recto

Dimensions:

Leaf: 18.7 × 16.2 cm (7 3/8 × 6 3/8 in.)

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Object Description

Saint Ambrose, the bishop of Milan, baptizes the adult Saint Augustine as he kneels on the rose and green marble floor of a church. Augustine's mother, Saint Monica, watches the event from the right.

The illuminator almost certainly made this lively, colorful miniature for a choir book belonging to a congregation of Augustinian priests in Siena. The initial probably introduced the chants for a feast associated with Saint Augustine or Saint Monica. Scholars have not been able to establish a more precise identification, though they have associated it with other cuttings believed to be from the same manuscript.

Exhibitions
Exhibitions
The Art of Painting in Florence & Siena from 1250 to 1500 (February 24 to April 10, 1965)
  • Wildenstein & Co. (London), February 24 to April 10, 1965
Monasteries and Manuscripts (July 16 to September 29, 1991)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), July 16 to September 29, 1991
The Cult of Saints in the Middle Ages and Renaissance (October 26, 1993 to January 9, 1994)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), October 26, 1993 to January 9, 1994
Ars et Ingenium: The Illuminator's Craft and Genius (July 26 to October 9, 1994)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), July 26 to October 9, 1994
Illuminated Choir Books of the Middle Ages and Renaissance 1995 (April 25 to July 9, 1995)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), April 25 to July 9, 1995
Italian Manuscript Illumination (May 9 to July 30, 2000)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), May 9 to July 30, 2000
Illuminating Color (May 22 to August 26, 2001)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), May 22 to August 26, 2001
A Treasury of Fifteenth Century Manuscript Illumination (March 26 to June 16, 2002)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), March 26 to June 16, 2002
Songs of Praise: Illuminated Choir Books (July 23 to October 13, 2002)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), July 23 to October 13, 2002
Masterpieces in Miniature: Italian Manuscripts from the Middle Ages and Renaissance (March 29 to June 12, 2005)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), March 29 to June 12, 2005
Masterpieces in Miniature: Italian Manuscript Illumination from the J. Paul Getty Museum (September 25, 2005 to January 2, 2006)
  • National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), September 25, 2005 to January 2, 2006
Music for the Masses: Illuminated Choir Books (August 14 to October 28, 2007)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), August 14 to October 28, 2007
The Early Renaissance in Siena (March 26 to July 11, 2010)
  • Complesso museale di Santa Maria della Scala (Siena), March 26 to July 11, 2010
The Shimmer of Gold: Giovanni di Paolo in Renaissance Siena (October 11, 2016 to January 8, 2017)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), October 11, 2016 to January 8, 2017