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Illuminated initial letter
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Illuminated initial letter

Circa 1430-40

Olivetan Master (Italian illuminator, active ca. 1425-1450)

Formerly attributed to Italy (Milan) 15th century (1400 - 1499)

Watercolour, gold leaf on vellum

Width: 14.7 cm; Height: 14.8 cm;

Acquisition (source, method, date)
Gambier-Parry, Mark; bequest; 1966

About this work
A member of the monastic community at Monte Oliveto in Tuscany, this artist is known through several other works in his hand, including an illuminated manuscript in the collection of the Fondazione Cini, Venice. This exquisite initial, originating probably from a choir book, shows God the Father blessing King David and a group of Saints. It testifies to the role of decorative designs before the traditional art of illumination was challenged by the new medium of the printing press. (Permanent collection label)

Copyright: © The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London

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