The J. Paul Getty Museum

Initial E: An Equestrian Duel Between a Creditor and a Debtor

Object Details

Title:

Initial E: An Equestrian Duel Between a Creditor and a Debtor

Artists/Makers:

Unknown

Michael Lupi de Çandiu (Spanish, active Pamplona, Spain 1297 - 1305)

Culture:

Spanish

Place:

Northeastern Spain, Spain (Place Created)

Date:

about 1290 - 1310

Medium:

Tempera colors, gold leaf, and ink on parchment

Object Number:

Ms. Ludwig XIV 6 (83.MQ.165), fol. 169v

Dimensions:

Leaf: 36.5 × 24 cm (14 3/8 × 9 7/16 in.)

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Object Description

On the right side of the page, a large historiated initial E frames two scenes representing a problem of credit explained in the chapter. On the upper level of a castlelike structure, the enthroned king listens to a dispute between a creditor and debtor. Below, the same figures engage in combat on horseback, watched by the king and a companion. The cross on one combatant's shield, clothing, and horse blanket identifies him as a Christian, while the crescent shape on the other's tunic suggests he is Muslim or at the very least a foreigner. The repetition of the figure of the king on both levels suggests that the battle relates to the argument above. The battle may demonstrate what would happen if there were no legal system, implying that implementation of a legal system prevents bloodshed.

Exhibitions
Exhibitions
Masterpieces of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscript illumination (December 16, 1997 to March 22, 1998)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), December 16, 1997 to March 22, 1998
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
Images of Violence in the Middle Ages (December 21 2004 to March 13, 2005)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), December 21, 2004 to March 13, 2005
Chivalry in the Middle Ages (July 8 to November 30, 2014)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), July 8 to November 30, 2014