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Pen-Drawn Historiated Initial With St. Michael And The Dragon, In The Four Gospels

Pen-Drawn Historiated Initial With St. Michael And The Dragon, In The Four Gospels

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1160

Shelfmark: Royal MS 1 B.xi

Item number: f.6r

Length: 30.9

Width: 17.6

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

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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. St. Michael the archangel is usually depicted in medieval art trampling on a dragon, and preparing to kill it with spear or sword; here the scene inhabits an initial 'M'. It is possible that the artist had previously illustrated a text beginning with 'M' for Michael, and reused the image here, where the 'M' stands for Matthew.

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