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Illuminated Initial, In Glossed Gospels Of Matthew And Mark f.96r

Illuminated Initial, In Glossed Gospels Of Matthew And Mark f.96r

Medium: Ink, pigments and gold on vellum

Date: 1190

Shelfmark: Harley MS 46

Item number: f.96r

Length: 27.6

Width: 20

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

Except for service books such as Psalters and Missals, manuscripts like this one--books of the Bible accompanied by extensive glosses--were perhaps the most numerous type of manuscript produced during the 12th century. They encompass not only the biblical text, but a careful selection of the interpretations of a variety of the Church's greatest early thinkers and writers, arranged adjacent to the passage being interpreted. This manuscript was owned in the Middle Ages by the library of York Cathedral. The largest initial in the volume is this 'I' which begins the biblical text of the Gospel of Mark. The colours, gold background, lush acanthus foliage, and outer green bounding line, are all typical of the 'Channel style' of decoration, typical of French and English manuscripts around 1200.

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