Click here to skip to content

Historiated Initial to II Maccabees, In 'The Bible Of Robert De Bello'

Historiated Initial to II Maccabees, In 'The Bible Of Robert De Bello'

Medium: Ink, pigments and gold on vellum

Date: 1235

Shelfmark: Burney MS 3

Item number: f.392r

Length: 273

Width: 188

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 subject of the historiated initial 'F' to II Maccabees is uncertain, but perhaps shows Antiochus and his men in the temple of Nanea, and beheading the leader of the priests (II Macc. 1:13-16). The soldier in the lower scene is wearing a 13th-century helmet: here, as elsewhere in this Bible, the artist has depicted figures in contemporary garb.

Search within this collection

Elsewhere on our websites

Newsletter

Latest events - register free online

Mobile app

For iPhone, iPad and Android

Report a Concern

What is the nature of your concern?

Report a Concern

What is the nature of your concern?

Email link to a friend

Write a brief note to accompany the email

Your friend's email address: