Initial G: The First Steps of Jesus

Object Details

Title:

Initial G: The First Steps of Jesus

Artist/Maker(s):

Unknown

Culture:

French

Place(s):

Northeastern France, France (Place created)

Date:

about 1300

Medium:

Tempera colors, gold leaf, and ink on parchment

Dimensions:

Leaf: 26.4 x 18.3 cm (10 3/8 x 7 3/16 in.)

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Within an initial G, the Virgin Mary teaches the infant Jesus to walk. Despite the domestic nature of her activity, she appears enthroned and crowned because the initial opens a prayer in praise of her: Gaude Maria xp[ist]i genitrix gloriosa (Rejoice in Mary the glorious mother of Christ). Two figures kneel below the initial, looking up toward the scene above. The vivid hand gestures and exaggerated facial expression of the man in front suggests that he fears the baby will fall out of the initial.

Related Works
Exhibitions
Faces of Power and Piety: Portraits in Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts (February 2 to April 18, 1999)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), February 2 to April 18, 1999