Initial A: King David Enthroned

Object Details


Initial A: King David Enthroned


Master Michael (Austrian, active about 1420 until the mid-15th century)




Vienna, Austria (Place created)


about 1420 - 1430


Tempera colors, gold leaf, and ink on parchment


Leaf: 41.9 x 31 cm (16 1/2 x 12 3/16 in.)

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King David sits pensively within an elegant initial A, opening the introit for the first Sunday in Advent. The introit, whose text is taken from Psalm 24, continues vertically on the side of the initial in alternating red and blue letters: Ad te levavi an[imam meam] (To you I will lift up my spirit). King David, believed to be the author of the psalms, holds a scepter and an orb with a cross on top as attributes of royal authority.

The elegance of the International style is evident in the subtle modeling of the face and the drapery folds.

Related Works
Vie a mon desir: Illuminated Manuscripts and Their Patrons (April 18 to July 2, 1989)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), April 18 to July 2, 1989
German and Central European Manuscript Illumination (February 24 to May 24, 2009)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), February 24 to May 24, 2009