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Initial G: The First Steps of Jesus
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Unknown
French, northeastern France, about 1300
Tempera colors and gold leaf on parchment
10 3/8 x 7 3/16 in.
MS. LUDWIG IX 3, FOL. 53

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Within an initial G, the Virgin Mary teaches the infant Jesus to walk. Despite the domestic nature of her activity, she appears enthroned and crowned because the initial opens a prayer in praise of her: Gaude Maria xp[ist]i genitrix gloriosa (Rejoice in Mary the glorious mother of Christ). Two figures kneel below the initial, looking up toward the scene above. The vivid hand gestures and exaggerated facial expression of the man in front suggests that he fears the baby will fall out of the initial.