St. John the Evangelist, December 27
April 24, 2009
Leaf from a gradual:
Initial I with St John the Evangelist, December 27
Perugia, Italy, ca. 1325
Parchment with ink, paint, and gold
This initial begins the Introit for the Mass for the feast of St. John the Evangelist (Dec. 27), “In medio ecclesie apperunt os eius…” (In the middle of the temple, [the Lord] opened his mouth). John is blessing a monk in this image.
What is particularly interesting about this leaf is its bas-de-page, featuring animals playing instruments. There is no way for us to know what the full picture in the margin once was, as the leaf was cropped at some point (probably in the nineteenth century). Also, there is a catch word at the bottom of the page, where the scribe has doodled a border. Catch words were used to line up the quires or gatherings of pages when a book was bound. The word “spiritus” would have been the first word on the next quire, presumably.
This leaf is from the same manuscript as Lewis E M 72:16 (Assumption), also featured in this exhibition.
Free Library of Philadelphia Lewis E M 72:15