- Download (14.68 MB)
This image is available for download, without charge, under the Getty's Open Content Program.
Open Content images tend to be large in file-size. To avoid potential data charges from your carrier, we recommend making sure your device is connected to a Wi-Fi network before downloading.
Initial S: The Lord Appearing to David in the Water
Bute Master (Franco-Flemish, active about 1260 - 1290)
Paris (written) France Northeastern (illuminated) France (Place created)
illumination about 1270 - 1280; written about 135 - 1375
Tempera colors, gold, and iron gall ink on parchment
Leaf: 17 x 11.9 cm (6 11/16 x 4 11/16 in.)
"Save me, O God, for the waters have come up unto my soul," sings King David in the opening line of Psalm 68. The illuminator illustrated this prayer for salvation by showing David in the bottom of the initial, nude in the rising waters, his graceful gestures expressive of helplessness. In the top half of the S, God descends from the clouds. While his body echoes David's curving posture, God's raised right arm with his hand ending in a gesture of blessing functions as a sign of his saving power.
In the space of the lower margin, a figure prays to heaven while a monkey prepares to strike him from behind.