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Elimelech, Naomi, And Their Sons Going To Moab, In The Bible Of William Of Devon

Elimelech, Naomi, And Their Sons Going To Moab, In The Bible Of William Of Devon

Medium: Ink, pigments and gold on vellum

Date: 1265

Shelfmark: Royal MS 1 D.i

Item number: f.110r

Length: 31.5

Width: 19.4

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

This Bible is important for two reasons. First, it is beautifully written and signed by its English scribe, William of Devon, which is rare in the 13th century. Second, the illumination represents the first clear example of a wave of French (primarily Parisian) influence that played an important part in the development of English art from about the 1260s onwards. This influence manifested itself both in terms of style (for example the adoption of so-called 'broad fold' draperies), and iconography: the Psalm initials in the present Bible are almost entirely dependent on French rather than English traditions. This historiated initial 'I' introduces the book of Ruth, the first two verses of which describe how Elimelech took his family to Moab, to avoid a famine. (Elimelech dies in verse 3, and Ruth makes her first appearance in verse 4).

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