Initial D: A Skull in a Rocky Field
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Taddeo Crivelli
Italian, Ferrara, about 1469
Tempera colors and gold leaf on parchment

4 1/4 x 3 1/8 in.
MS. LUDWIG IX 13, FOL. 106

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Inside an initial D , a skull sits on a green rock. A gruesome reminder of death, this image introduces the Office of the Dead. In addition to being an integral part of funeral services, devout Christians read this prayer service daily to prepare themselves spiritually for death.