The J. Paul Getty Museum

The Elevation of the Host; Initial T: A Putto Between the Sun and the Moon

Object Details

Title:

The Elevation of the Host; Initial T: A Putto Between the Sun and the Moon

Artist/Maker:

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

Culture:

Italian

Place:

Bologna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy (Place Created)

Date:

between 1389 and 1404

Medium:

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

Object Number:

Ms. 34 (88.MG.71), fol. 130

Dimensions:

Leaf: 33 × 24 cm (13 × 9 7/16 in.)

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Object Description

Standing at the altar before a golden tabernacle and surrounded by monks and parishioners, the priest elevates the host at the climactic moment of the Mass. The illuminator expressed the tension of this great drama when the people are first shown the consecrated Eucharist: the worshippers with their varied and animated expressions seem completely caught up in the drama. Adding to the sense that the scene is capturing a specific moment, the standing monks on the left sing from a choir book with open mouths. The scene takes place in a groin-vaulted Gothic church. The varied poses of the figures, seen in profile, three-quarter view, and from behind, stress their volumetric presence in space. The Master of the Brussels Initials was particularly inventive in the construction of three-dimensional space. This miniature appropriately prefaces the Canon of the Mass, the introduction to the ritual of the Eucharist. The text of the Canon opens with the initial T, formed by a putto holding his arms aloft between the sun and the moon, with his head tilted backwards in his efforts to see the scene above.

Exhibitions
Exhibitions
The International Style: Courtly Art Around the Year 1400 (October 24, 1994 to January 8, 1995)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), October 24, 1994 to January 8, 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
Ritual Splendor: Illuminated Liturgical Manuscripts (February 20 to May 6, 2001)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), February 20 to May 6, 2001
Treasures of a Lost Art: Italian Manuscript Painting of the Middle Ages and Renaissance (June 7 to August 31, 2003)
  • California Palace of the Legion of Honor (San Francisco), June 7 to August 31, 2003
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
Imagining Christ (May 6 to July 27, 2008)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), May 6 to July 27, 2008