Christ in Majesty; Initial A: A Man Lifting His Soul to God

Object Details

Title:

Christ in Majesty; Initial A: A Man Lifting His Soul to God

Artist/Maker(s):

Master of the Brussels Initials (Italian, active about 1389 - 1410)

Culture:

Italian

Place(s):

Bologna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy (Place created)

Date:

between 1389 and 1404

Medium:

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

Dimensions:

Leaf: 33 x 24 cm (13 x 9 7/16 in.)

See more

See less

In Cosimo de' Migliorati's missal, the illuminator gave special prominence to the page for the first mass of the church year, said on the first Sunday in Advent. In the miniature of Christ in Majesty, Christ appears in a mandorla surrounded by a multitude of worshippers both male and female and prophets with their scrolls. The use of gold for the decorative acanthus swirls in the background, the halos, and the rays surrounding Christ reinforces the majestic tone. In the initial below the miniature, a bearded man offers his soul in the form of a small, naked figure to Christ above. This image was inspired by the opening verse of the introit, sung by the choir as the priest proceeds to the altar at the beginning of the Mass: "To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul." A series of richly colored acanthus leaves forms the shape of the letter A and extends into the margin.

In addition to the drolleries, the border decoration originally included the arms of Cosimo de' Migliorati, but these were overpainted with the arms of a later owner of the manuscript, the Antipope John XXIII.

Related Works
Exhibitions
The Psalms and Their Illustration (April 27 to July 3, 1993)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), April 27 to July 3, 1993, (Cat.)
Out-of-Bounds: Marginal Imagery in Illuminated Manuscripts (April 7, 1998 to July 5, 1998)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), April 7 to July 5, 1998, (Cat.)
The Queen of the Angels (August 15 to November 5, 2000)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), August 15 to November 5, 2000, (Cat.)
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, (Cat.)
Out of Bounds: Images in the Margins of Illuminated Manuscripts (September 1 to November 8, 2009)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), September 1 to November 8, 2009, (Cat.)