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Scenes From Genesis, In The Bible Of William Of Devon

Scenes From Genesis, In The Bible Of William Of Devon

Medium: Ink, pigments and gold on vellum

Date: 1265

Shelfmark: Royal MS 1 D.i

Item number: f.5r

Length: 31.2

Width: 19.4

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

This Bible is important for two reasons. First, it is beautifully written and signed by its English scribe, William of Devon, which is rare in the 13th century. Second, the illumination represents the first clear example of a wave of French (primarily Parisian) influence that played an important part in the development of English art from about the 1260s onwards. This influence manifested itself both in terms of style (for example the adoption of so-called 'broad fold' draperies), and iconography: the Psalm initials in the present Bible are almost entirely dependent on French rather than English traditions. The historiated initial 'I' to the left is filled with seven scenes with the Days of Creation, three scenes of Adam and Eve, and the Crucifixion. The upper margin has dogs chasing a rabbit and a deer, while the lower margin has hybrid creatures and birds, one dressed as a monk, another as a bishop.

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