May 7, 2009
Processional: Miniature depicting the Feast of St. John the Baptist, June 24
Paris, France, c. 1510
Script: Gothic bookhand
Parchment with ink, paint, and gold
Although this processional is from the early Renaissance period, it was considered for some time to be from the medieval period, owing to its style and decoration. A processional is a personal book containing the appropriate music for liturgical processions. This book is made of fine French vellum, and is a handsome specimen: it is decorated throughout with insects, birds, and frogs, and was made for use at the Dominican house in Poissy, France.
This miniature shows St. John the Baptist, accompanied by his attribute, the Lamb of God, holding a Christian flag in its mouth. John the Baptist is usually recognizable in medieval art by his shaggy clothing and wild hair, which is meant to remind the medieval viewer of John’s humble lifestyle.
Free Library of Philadelphia Lewis E 7, f101v