Initial A: David and Companion Musicians
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German, Hildesheim, about 1170s
Tempera colors, gold leaf, silver leaf, and ink on parchment
11 1/8 x 7 7/16 in.
MS. 64, FOL. 12

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A nearly full-page initial A includes three roundels. King David occupies the roundel at the top, flanked by two of his companion musicians. This initial introduces the chants sung at Mass for the first Sunday in Advent. The vine scroll inhabited by a nude man and two dragons forms a dynamic pattern of swirls and entanglements.

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