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Full-Page Miniature Of St. Dunstan Writing, Extracted From A Commentary On The Rule Of St. Benedict

Full-Page Miniature Of St. Dunstan Writing, Extracted From A Commentary On The Rule Of St. Benedict

Medium: Ink, pigments and gold on vellum

Date: 1170

Shelfmark: Royal MS 10 A.xiii, f. 2

Item number: f.2r

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

This miniature was formerly bound at the front of a Commentary on the Rule of St. Benedict, written at Christ Church, Canterbury, c.1170. The text was probably copied from a 10th-century manuscript which was corrected and annotated by St. Dunstan, archbishop of Canterbury (d.988), and although he was not the original author, he is depicted in this full-page 'author portrait'. Dunstan is shown with a halo, wearing his full ecclesiastical vestments. He writes in an open book (the semi-circular head- and tail-tabs, typical of 12th-century bindings, are clearly visible), holding the parchment down with his pen-knife. The words he writes are the first words of the Rule of St. Benedict ('Obsculta o filii precepta magistri').

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