The J. Paul Getty Museum

Initial C: The Creation of the World

Object Details

Title:

Initial C: The Creation of the World

Artist/Maker:

Unknown

Culture:

Italian

Place:

Northeastern Italy, Italy (Place Created)

Date:

about 1420

Medium:

Tempera colors, gold leaf, and ink on parchment

Object Number:

Ms. 24 (86.ML.674.5), leaf 5

Dimensions:

Leaf: 46.5 × 34.6 cm (18 5/16 × 13 5/8 in.)

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Object Description

Wearing a sweeping pink and gray robe, God creates the elements of the world with a touch of his finger. The new life inside the initial spills chaotically into the left margin of the page. The text and music shown here celebrating the "nurturing creator of the stars," are the sung and spoken prayers used in the Divine Office and found in breviaries. In most cases monks memorized such chant melodies, but more elaborate musical passages like this one required written musical notation.

Exhibitions
Exhibitions
The International Gothic Style (January 17 to April 1, 1989)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), January 17 to April 1, 1989
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
Illuminated Choir Books of the Middle Ages and Renaissance 1995 (April 25 to July 9, 1995)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), April 25 to July 9, 1995
Songs of Praise: Illuminated Choir Books (July 23 to October 13, 2002)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), July 23 to October 13, 2002
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
The Wondrous Cosmos in the Medieval World (April 30 to July 21, 2019)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), April 30 to July 21, 2019