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Decorated Text Page
Constantinople, Turkey (Place created)
late 13th century
Tempera colors, gold leaf, gold ink, and ink on parchment
Leaf: 21 × 14.9 cm (8 1/4 × 5 7/8 in.)
With its decorative headpiece and enlarged, painted initial, the opening page of Saint John's Gospel faces a portrait of the saint. The headpiece decoration of foliate motifs within a vine scroll harmonizes with the decoration of the canon table pages at the beginning of the book. A scribe wrote the headpiece inscription in gold in a highly stylized display script. The text proper begins with a painted letter epsilon and then continues in a Greek minuscule script. Gold letters in the left margin mark the beginnings of sub-sections of the Gospel text.
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