Initial D: The Lion of Judah
Enlarge (24MB) Zoom in
This image is available for download, without charge, under the Getty's Open Content Program.

German, Hildesheim, about 1170s
Tempera colors, gold leaf, and silver leaf on parchment
11 1/8 x 7 7/16 in.
MS. 64, FOL. 111V

Add to Getty Bookmarks

Standing prominently within an initial D , the Lion of Judah serves here as a representation of one of the original twelve tribes of Israel. Christian commentators used the Lion of Judah as a symbol to signify Jesus' descent from King David. The initial heralds the beginning of the prayer Deus qui Hod[ierna die (God who on this day).