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Initial S[alve sancta parens] from a Gradual: Madonna and Child

Initial S[alve sancta parens] from a Gradual: Madonna and Child

c. 1370-1374

Don Silvestro dei Gherarducci

(Italian, 1339-1399)

Ink, tempera, and gold on vellum

Sheet: 16 x 13 cm (6 5/16 x 5 1/8 in.)

Gift from J. H. Wade 1924.1012

Description

Along with several other excised leaves and miniatures that survive in various libraries and museums, this decorated initial S was part of a magnificent gradual produced in the scriptorium of the monastery of Santa Maria degli Angeli in Florence. The Madonna and Child was a standard image for the Saturday votive Mass to the Virgin. This initial originally introduced the text: Salve sancta parens (“Hail, Holy Mother”).

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