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Historiated Initial With A Bishop Blessing, In The Evesham Pontifical

Historiated Initial With A Bishop Blessing, In The Evesham Pontifical

Medium: Ink, pigments and gold on vellum

Date: 1425

Shelfmark: Lansdowne MS 451

Item number: f.198r

Length: 361

Width: 218

Scale: Millimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

A Pontifical is a liturgical book containing texts specifically to be used by a pope, archbishop, or bishop, such as for the consecration of bishops and of churches, the coronation of a king; various blessings, for a bell and a new well, for example; and many others. A flyleaf note records that the manuscript had belonged in the Middle Ages to Evesham Abbey, in Worcestershire. This initial is in the second half of the volume, which was illuminated by a separate, probably London-based artist. The text is the beginning of the Episcopal blessings, and shows a bishop blessing a group of kneeling laymen. The open book held by the monk is presumably a pontifical, in other words it indirectly represents this very manuscript.

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