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Historiated Initial With The Nativity, In A Brigittine Breviary f.20v

Historiated Initial With The Nativity, In A Brigittine Breviary f.20v

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1420

Shelfmark: Royal MS 2 A.xiv

Item number: f.20v

Length: 18.8

Width: 12

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

The Order of St. Saviour--more commonly known as the Brigittine Order--was founded in 1346 by St. Brigit (Birgitta) of Sweden (d. 1375). The Order soon spread across Europe, and in 1415 Henry V laid the foundation-stone of the only English Brigittine monastery, at Syon House, Isleworth. All English Brigittine manuscripts, including this one, therefore, come from Syon. In the tiny initial 'P' the artist has managed to fit a picture with the Virgin, Joseph at the foot of her bed, the Infant in the manger behind, all observed by the ox (red) and ass (blue).

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