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Initial V: Job Derided by His Wife
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Unknown
Franco-Flemish, probably Lille, about 1270
Tempera colors and gold leaf on parchment
Leaf: 18 1/2 x 12 11/16 in.
MS. LUDWIG I 8, V3, FOL. 238V

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A historiated initial V is the first letter of the text of the Old Testament book devoted to the tormented but ever-righteous Job. Although suffering from sores and other afflictions, Job never lost his faith in the Lord. Against the glistening gold ground inside the initial, the naked Job, his ribs showing, sits upright in bed. Gesturing emphatically, his wife admonishes him for remaining steadfastly faithful.

Vine scrolls with spiky and rounded leaves extend from the initial into the margin, where human and animal figures cavort. These playful characters and the vine scroll itself are common features of Gothic illumination, as is the color scheme dominated by blue and gold.