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Illuminated Initial To I Kings, In Peter Comestor's 'Scholastic History'

Illuminated Initial To I Kings, In Peter Comestor's 'Scholastic History'

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1205

Shelfmark: Royal MS 4 D.vii

Item number: f.85r

Length: 37.5

Width: 24.1

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

Peter Comestor (i.e. Peter 'the Eater', a nickname given to him because of his voracious appetite for knowledge) wrote the 'Scholastic History' in Paris in about 1170. It is a continuous history, from the Creation until the end of the Acts of the Apostles, based mainly on the narrative books of the Bible. This copy was commissioned by Raymond, prior of St Albans Abbey from 1195-1214. Medieval Bibles had four Books of Kings; in the familiar King James and later translations they are known as I and II Samuel, I and II Kings. This Illuminated initial introduces III Kings (i.e. I Kings in a modern Bible). The shape of the 'I' allowed the artist to extend the initial the full height of the text.

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