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Historiated Initial With St. Jerome And St. Ambrose, In 'The Bible Of Robert De Bello'

Historiated Initial With St. Jerome And St. Ambrose, In 'The Bible Of Robert De Bello'

Medium: Ink, pigments and gold on vellum

Date: 1235

Shelfmark: Burney MS 3

Item number: f.2r

Length: 273

Width: 203

Scale: Millimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

This Bible belonged to, and was presumably made for, Robert de Bello (i.e. 'of Battle', near Hastings), who was abbot of the Benedictine abbey of St. Augustine, Canterbury, from 1224-53. He was clearly concerned to have an accurate text--it has been corrected carefully throughout--and his influence may be responsible for some of the very unusual imagery included among the initials. The first page of the general prologue is illustrated with a historiated initial 'F' the full height of the page. At the top two scenes show Jerome writing a letter, and a messenger (who appears in both scenes) delivering it to Ambrose. Robert de Bello's name is inscribed in minute script at the base of the initial, in a cartouche on which stands a peacock.

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