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Historiated Initial With The Tree Of Jesse, In A Glossed Gospels

Historiated Initial With The Tree Of Jesse, In A Glossed Gospels

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1250

Shelfmark: Royal MS 3 E.viii

Item number: f.1v

Length: 43.5

Width: 28

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

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The books of the Bible had received standardised sets of glosses (interpretations and explanations) during the 12th-century, and these continued to be copied and studied in the 13th century. As is typical in such books, the biblical text is written in larger, more formal, script and the gloss is written in smaller script to either side and between the lines. This volume containing the glossed Gospels forms part of a set which was owned by the 'Preaching Friars' (i.e. Dominicans) of London: they were established in about 1221 at Holborn, and moved to Ludgate in about 1275. The historiated initial contains a Jesse Tree because Matthew's Gospel starts with an account of the ancestors of Christ.

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