Initial D: The Anointing of David
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Bute Master
French, northeastern France, about 1270 - 1280
Tempera colors and gold leaf on parchment
6 11/16 x 4 11/16 in.
MS. 46, FOL. 32V

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Within the initial D opening Psalm 26, Samuel annoints King David, traditionally believed to be the author of the psalms. The heartfelt poetic text on the right reads: Dominus illuminat[i]o mea et salus mea. Quem timebo (The Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom will I fear?). On the left, the illuminator playfully extended the lines of the historiated initial into the margin, painting a series of swirling vine leaves. On the vine extension across the bottom of the page, a woman with a drum gracefully sways, her right hand held to her ear. The gesture of listening and the reference to music may refer to the singing of the psalms in devotional practice.

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Initial S
Initial S