Initial D: Herod Ordering the Massacre of the Innocents; Initial V: Clerics Singing
Enlarge (17MB) Zoom in
This image is available for download, without charge, under the Getty's Open Content Program.

French, northeastern France, about 1300
Tempera colors and gold leaf on parchment
10 3/8 x 7 3/16 in.

Add to Getty Bookmarks

This page beginning the service of Sext in the Hours of the Virgin opens with a line from Psalm 69, Deus in adiutorium meum intende (God, come to my assistance). The illustration in the initial and the scene below tell the story of the Massacre of the Innocents. Within the initial D, King Herod gives the order to slay all male children two years old and under. Below, standing on the elaborate vine scroll extending from the initial, a soldier fulfills Herod's order, raising his sword to strike even as a mother tries to save her child. To the right, another woman kneels on the ground, grieving for her slain child.

Detail Views

Initial V
Initial V