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Historiated Initial With A Scene Of Judgement, In 'The Bible Of Robert De Bello'

Historiated Initial With A Scene Of Judgement, In 'The Bible Of Robert De Bello'

Medium: Ink, pigments and gold on vellum

Date: 1235

Shelfmark: Burney MS 3

Item number: f.101r

Length: 273

Width: 192

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. This initial 'P', to the book of Judges, perhaps represents Judah. It shows typical medieval judgement iconography: the judge (apparently with a tonsure) is seated, with crossed legs, one hand pointing, the other hand at his neck holding the cords of his cloak.

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