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The Calling of Saints Peter and Andrew; Initial D: Saint Andrew; Initial Q: Saint Peter
Master of the Brussels Initials (Italian, active about 1389 - 1410)
Bologna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy (Place Created)
between 1389 and 1404
Tempera colors, gold leaf, gold paint, and ink on parchment
Ms. 34 (88.MG.71), fol. 172a
Leaf: 33 × 24 cm (13 × 9 7/16 in.)
As Saint Andrew and Saint Peter cast their nets into the Sea of Galilee, Jesus stands on the shore, calling them to follow him and become fishers of men. The two apostles turn towards Jesus with expressions of awe. Although the boat continues to glide toward the shore, Peter has already dropped his oar and folded his hands in prayer. Andrew, standing behind him, still holds his net, but his eyes are on Jesus. Below the miniature, Andrew appears in the initial D, for Dominus (God), with the cross upon which he was crucified. Below, Saint Peter appears in the initial Q with his attribute, the key to heaven.
The figures' heavy modeling and massive, cone-shaped bodies testify to the artist's interest in rendering objects in three-dimensional space. Surface effects still fascinated him, however, as evidenced by the miniature's swirling gold background and the curling acanthus leaves, flowers, and hybrid creatures in the border.
This miniature opens the section of the missal called the Sanctorale, devoted to masses said on saints' days, beginning with the vigil of the feast of Saint Andrew.
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