Decorated Initial D

Object Details


Decorated Initial D


Attributed to Nivardus of Milan (Italian, active about 1000 - about 1025)




Beauvais (probably), France (Place created)


first quarter of 11th century


Tempera colors, gold, silver, and ink on parchment


Leaf: 23.2 x 17.9 cm (9 1/8 x 7 1/16 in.)

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This page contains the first line of a prayer for Easter. The initial letter, a D in the round shape of the uncial script, occupies most of the page and supports a growth of dynamic interlace that winds around the letter. After the initial D, the first line of text continues in gold on a bar at the bottom of the page: D[eu]s qui hodierna die (O God, who on this day).

An exuberant gold vine with silver leaves springs from a pair of twisted columns flanking the large initial. Two figures, who bear no thematic relationship to the text, climb on the vine. Their poses and the colors of their clothing--one in blue tunic and red leggings and the other in red tunic and blue leggings--contribute to the lively design of the page as a whole.

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