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Initial I: The Rebuilding of the Temple
Lille (probably), France (Place created)
Tempera colors, black ink, and gold leaf on parchment
Leaf: 47 x 32.2 cm (18 1/2 x 12 11/16 in.)
An initial I introduces the text of the
The artist, envisioning the ancient historical event in contemporary terms, represented the workmen as medieval masons. At the left, a craftsman perched on a ladder wields a small trowel for applying mortar, while his partner to the right holds a pick. Above, an elegantly dressed man in a long gown holds a right angle, one of the principal tools of medieval architects. Despite the solidity and credibility of the architectural structure, it is supported by a two-headed dragon with a fantastically graceful, elongated neck and a tail that sprouts into a leafy vine scroll extending down the side of the text. Despite the heavy physical labor required of masons, the human workers pivot elegantly, displaying gestures characteristic of
Out-of-Bounds: Marginal Imagery in Illuminated Manuscripts (April 7, 1998 to July 5, 1998)
- The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), April 7 to July 5, 1998
Medieval Mastery: Illumination from Charlemagne to Charles the Bold (800-1475) (September 21 to December 8, 2002)
- Stedelijk Museum Vander Kelen-Mertens, (Leuven), September 21 to December 8, 2002
The Glory of the Gothic Page (December 16, 2003 to March 7, 2004)
- The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 16, 2003 to March 7, 2004
Building the Medieval World: Architecture in Illuminated Manuscripts (March 2 to May 16, 2010)
- The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), March 2 to May 16, 2010