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Pen-Drawn Inhabited Initial, In The Four Gospels

Pen-Drawn Inhabited Initial, In The Four Gospels

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1160

Shelfmark: Royal MS 1 B.xi

Item number: f.2v

Length: 30.7

Width: 17.4

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

This copy of the Four Gospels has notes on the final flyleaves relating to S. Augustine's abbey, Canterbury, and the main scribe has been identified as the scribe of a number of other Canterbury books, which makes it almost certain that this manuscript was written there. This initial 'P' introduces a prologue to the Gospels. Art historians debate whether such imagery has meaning (do the biting dragon and the entrapping foliage represent the snares of evil?), or whether it is merely 'decorative'.

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