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Historiated Initial With Zechariah's Vision, In 'The Bible Of Robert De Bello'

Historiated Initial With Zechariah's Vision, In 'The Bible Of Robert De Bello'

Medium: Ink, pigments and gold on vellum

Date: 1235

Shelfmark: Burney MS 3

Item number: f.373r

Length: 274

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. The unusual initial 'I' to the book of Zechariah apparently depicts one of the prophets visions in which he sees two angels carrying an amphora containing a woman (Zechariah 5:9). Here the artist has interpreted the 'woman' as Christ (as indicated by his crossed halo).

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