June 26, 2009
Initial B with David as a musician
Ferrara, Italy, ca. 1453-1482
Parchment with ink, paint, and gold
Illuminator (Artist): Franco dei Russi
This initial begins Psalm 1, “Beatus uir qui non abiit in consilio impiorum …” (Blessed is the man who has not walked in the counsel of the ungodly), which was read at Matins on Sundays. The illumination has been attributed to Franco dei Russi, a Mantuan artist who spent a good portion of his career in Ferrara. Among his patrons was Borso d’Este, the half-brother of Ercole I d’Este, Duke of Ferrara.
This leaf has a discoloration in the parchment, probably owing to use. In addition, there appears to be evidence of acidic ink in the script, which in the case of one “O” has eaten through the parchment, creating a round hole.
Free Library of Philadelphia Lewis E M 70:3