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Historiated Initial With Zacharias And The Angel, In A Glossed Gospels

Historiated Initial With Zacharias And The Angel, In A Glossed Gospels

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1280

Shelfmark: Royal MS 3 E.vi

Item number: f.136r

Length: 43.6

Width: 29.6

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

A cornerstone of biblical study in medieval monasteries were various commentaries on, and interpretations of, the books of the Bible. A standard gloss was developed in the 12th century, which continued to be copied in the 13th century and beyond. The present manuscript is such a manuscript, owned by the Cistercian abbey of Jervaulx by the late Middle Ages. Its luxurious high quality production suggests, however, that it was not made at the abbey, because Cistercian rules forbade such opulence. The start of the Gospel of Luke has a historiated initial 'F', which, instead of showing the evangelist or his symbol, illustrates the appearance of the angel to Zacharias, as described in chapter 1, verse 11.

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