Initial F: The Tree of Jesse
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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. 146

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Incorporated into the shape of the initial F is the Tree of Jesse. This diagrammatic representation shows Jesus' supposed descent from King David's father Jesse through the Virgin Mary. The genealogy derives from a passage in Isaiah that describes a flower that will sprout from the "root of Jesse." The passage is inscribed on the vertical scroll held by the bearded man at the top right.

The initial opens the prayers for the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin. It appears across the double-page spread from the miniature of the Assumption of the Virgin.

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Jesus' scroll