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Manuscript cutting - Leaf for the feast of the Annunciation from a Missal
  • Leaf for the feast of the Annunciation from a Missal
    Unknown Virgin Mary
  • Enlarge image

Leaf for the feast of the Annunciation from a Missal

  • Object:

    Manuscript cutting

  • Place of origin:

    Umbria (Historical region assigned by Mirella Levi D'Ancona, made)

  • Date:

    14th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown
    Virgin Mary

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Coloured pigments, burnished gold leaf and mosaic gold, and ink on parchment

  • Museum number:

    1490

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level E, case I, shelf 77

This leaf (cutting) is for the feast of the Annunciation (25 March; the announcement to the Virgin that she will bear the Son of God), and is from a mid-late 14th century Italian Missal (a service book containg the texts necessary for the performance of the Mass togther with ceremonial directions). The historiated initial 'D' (a letter containing an identifiable scene of figures, sometimes relating to the text) shows the Archangel Gabriel appearing to the Virgin Mary.

Physical description

Leaf from a Missal that introduces the Mass for the feast of the Annunciation, probably made in Umbria in ca. mid-late 14th century. Double-sided. Text written in black ink wih red rubrics (a title, chapter heading, or instruction that is not strictly part of the text but helps to identify it). Colour pigments, gold leaf, and ink.

Two columns of text (Southern Gothic Textualis) are separated by slender acanthus leaves and delicate foliate (floral or leaf) shapes painted in colour pigments and burnished gold leaf (gold paint that has been polished to shine). Foliate marginalia (writing or decoration in the margins of a manuscript) runs along the top of the leaf, down through the middle, and extends into the bas-de-page (bottom of the page).

Recto: One historiated initial 'D' shows Archangel Gabriel, wearing a red tunic, appearing to the Virgin Mary in a blue tunic who stands reading at a small lectern. The scene is set against a diaper-patterned (a repetitive geometric pattern) background. Both figures have burnished gold leaf halos.

Blue initial 'S' with red penwork (fine linear embellishment); red initial 'P' with blue penwork.

Verso: Two text columns in black ink with red rubrics. Red initial 'I' with blue penwork; blue initial 'G' with red penwork that extends into the bas-de-page.

Place of Origin

Umbria (Historical region assigned by Mirella Levi D'Ancona, made)

Date

14th century (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown
Virgin Mary

Materials and Techniques

Coloured pigments, burnished gold leaf and mosaic gold, and ink on parchment

Dimensions

Height: 360 mm Leaf, Width: 250 mm

Object history note

The image depicts a version of the Annunciation that reflects the typical iconography of this biblical narrative.

The leaf is from an Italian Missal made in Umbria around the mid-late 14th century. The small size of the script and initials, and the lack of music suggests that this folio (a sheet of writing material; from the Latin for 'leaf') comes from a manuscript likely intended to be read from a closer distance, not from further away by a choir.

Initials
Recto: Pink historiated initial 'D' accented with white foliate shapes. The inner rim of the closed counter (fully enclosed interior space of an alphabetical letter) in which the scene is contained is mosaic gold. The initial is set against a blue square background with burnished gold covering the entire right side.

Blue initial 'S' with red penwork and a red initial 'P' with blue penwork on the left edge of the left text column.

Descriptive line

Leaf for the feast of the Annunciation from a Missal, Italian, 14th century

Materials

Parchment; Pigments; Ink; Gold leaf

Techniques

Illumination

Subjects depicted

Subject

Categories

Religion; Christianity; Medieval and renaissance; Manuscript cutting; Manuscripts

Production Type

Unique

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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