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Historiated Initial With St. Paul, In 'The Bible Of Robert De Bello'

Historiated Initial With St. Paul, In 'The Bible Of Robert De Bello'

Medium: Ink, pigments and gold on vellum

Date: 1235

Shelfmark: Burney MS 3

Item number: f.474r

Length: 274

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 large initial 'P' shows St. Paul handing the book to the messenger Phebe. The large decorative extensions in the lower margin are of a type which are found in English manuscripts from about the 1230s, notably in those illuminated by the Oxford artist William de Brailes.

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