Initial D: Christ before Caiaphas; Initial D: The Virgin Mary with Apostles
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French, northeastern France, about 1300
Tempera colors and gold leaf on parchment
10 3/8 x 7 3/16 in.

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A historiated initial D opens the service of Prime in the Hours of the Holy Spirit with a line taken from Psalm 69, Deus in adiutorium meum intende (God, come to my assistance). A series of historiated initials focusing on Christ's Passion accompanies this cycle of prayers. Inside the initial D is the scene of Christ before Caiaphas, when the Jewish high priest tries Jesus for the crime of blasphemy.

A knight kneels in the right margin of the page, clasping his hands and looking up at the scene. The man is probably the book's original owner. The page as a whole thus depicts an ideal of late medieval devotion: praying intently, the patron becomes a witness to the events of the Passion.

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