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Historiated Initial To Exodus, In 'The Ashridge Petrus Comestor'

Historiated Initial To Exodus, In 'The Ashridge Petrus Comestor'

Medium: Ink, pigments and gold on vellum

Date: 1290

Shelfmark: Royal MS 3 D.vi

Item number: f.46r

Length: 40

Width: 26.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

Ashridge College, a few miles north of Berkhamstead in Hertfordshire, was founded in 1283 and dedicated in 1286 by Edmund, Earl of Cornwall, who was born at Berkhamstead, and who died at Ashridge in 1300. His arms are in the margin of the first page of the Gospels, and it is therefore likely that the book was commissioned by him for his foundation. This initial 'S' depicts the 'servitude of the sons of Israel', described at the start of the biblical book of Exodus: the Egyptian pharaoh, sitting to the right, is forcing the Israelites to build cities.

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