A BEAUTIFUL IMAGE OF RISING CHRIST IN A MINIATURE FROM THE MEDIEVAL CENTRAL ITALY
Historiated initial ‘E’, cut from an illuminated choirbook on vellum.
Central Italy, first half of 14th century.
(164×125 mm.) Half-length rising Christ wrapped in a red cloth and showing his wounds in the upper compartment and two angels either side of the tomb with an open book in the lower compartment, on light pink ground, within an initial E with acanthus staves in blue and red, on blue adorned with white tracery and large gold bezants and outlined in black. On the right edge traces of four-line red staves and text. On the reverse lines of text and 4-line red staves. (Framed; a couple of waterstains touching the initial on the right side, a sign of folding in the middle; otherwise good).
This initial might have introduced the Easter antiphon “Et respicientes”, as the representation of the Resurrection suggests.
The strength and beauty of this work is due to its fresh simplicity. The style, essential and genuine, with its palette of colour is evocative of 14th century illumination from the central regions of Italy, perhaps Tuscany.