Decorated Initial D

Object Details

Title:

Decorated Initial D

Artist/Maker(s):

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

Culture:

Ottonian

Place(s):

Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire, France (Place created)

Date:

first quarter of 11th century

Medium:

Tempera colors, gold, silver, and ink on parchment

Dimensions:

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.

Related Works
Exhibitions
The Decorated Letter (July 21 to October 6, 1987)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), July 21 to October 6, 1987
Monasteries and Manuscripts (July 16 to September 29, 1991)
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The Decorated Letter (January 14 to March 29, 1992)
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Ten Centuries of French Illumination (April 23 to July 7, 1996)
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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
Ritual Splendor: Illuminated Liturgical Manuscripts (February 20 to May 6, 2001)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), February 20 to May 6, 2001
Five Hundred Years of Manuscript Illumination (February 11 to June 1, 2003)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), February 11 to June 1, 2003