Initial T: Saint Louis of Toulouse

Object Details


Initial T: Saint Louis of Toulouse


Franco dei Russi (Italian, active about 1453 - 1482)




Ferrara, Italy, Europe (Place created)


about 1453 - 1463


Tempera, gold leaf, and gold paint on parchment


Leaf: 73 × 53.4 cm (28 3/4 × 21 in.)

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The imposing figure of Saint Louis of Toulouse, and the horizontal band of curling leaves that extend above his head, form the shape of this initial T. Louis was the son of Charles II of Anjou, King of Naples (1288-1309), and educated by Franciscan friars, eventually joining their order. Saint Louis is shown here wearing a miter and holding a crozier (bishop's hat and staff), symbols of his appointment as bishop of Toulouse in 1296, along with the brown, hooded robe of a Franciscan friar, and a red cape covered with gold fleurs-de-lis, symbols of the French royal family. This leaf belonged to an antiphonal from a famous series of choir books commissioned by Cardinal Bessarion (about 1399/1408-1472), a papal representative in Bologna between 1450 and 1455. This volume also displayed the coat of arms of Borso d'Este, the first Duke of Ferrara, and a major patron of the arts in that city in the mid-1400s.

Related Works
Exposition de la Collection Lehman de New York (June 5 to September 15, 1957)
  • Musée de l'Orangerie (Paris), June 5 to September 15, 1957
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
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
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
Rare Finds: Ten Years of Collecting Manuscripts (February 12 to April 20, 2008)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), February 12 to April 20, 2008