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Initial G: Saint Blaise
Master of the Murano Gradual (Italian, active about 1430 - 1460)
Venice or Lombardy, Italy (Place created)
about 1450 - 1460
Tempera and gold on parchment
Leaf: 15.7 x 12 cm (6 3/16 x 4 3/4 in.)
In this initial, the face of Saint Blaise is sharply defined, craggy, and hard-edged, yet the powder blue robe and the fine tooled lines in the gold ground lend the monumental figure a kind of ethereal delicacy. These contrasting qualities of exaggerated expression and refined beauty inform the illumination style of the work's artist, the Master of the Murano Gradual. This initial was probably made for the manuscript that gives the Master his name, a gradual made for the Camaldolese monastery of San Mattia in Murano. Saint Blaise, a fourth-century bishop in Armenia, was martyred with a wool carder's brush, the red object he holds in his hand in the illumination.
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.)
Masterpieces in Miniature: Italian Manuscript Illumination from the J. Paul Getty Museum (September 25, 2005 to January 2, 2006)
- National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), September 25, 2005 to January 2, 2006, (Cat.)
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, (Cat.)
Faces of Power and Piety: Portraiture in the Middle Ages and Renaissance (August 12 to October 26, 2008)
- The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), August 12 to October 26, 2008, (Cat.)