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Historiated Initial With Job On The Dung-Heap, In 'The Bible Of Robert De Bello'

Historiated Initial With Job On The Dung-Heap, In 'The Bible Of Robert De Bello'

Medium: Ink, pigments and gold on vellum

Date: 1235

Shelfmark: Burney MS 3

Item number: f.223v

Length: 272

Width: 180

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 initial 'U' to the book of Job shows Job, naked, holding a pot-shard, sitting on the dung-heap, visited by his three friends, as described in Job 2:8, 11. The Dextera Dei (right hand of God) emerges from heaven above Job's head.

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