Jan 29, 2007

Initial G[audeamus omnes] from a Gradual: The Court of Heaven

Initial G[audeamus omnes] from a Gradual: The Court of Heaven


Don Silvestro dei Gherarducci

(Italian, 1339–1399)

Ink, tempera, and gold on vellum

Sheet: 38.6 x 36.5 cm (15 3/16 x 14 3/8 in.); Framed: 68.9 x 53 cm (27 1/8 x 20 7/8 in.); Matted: 63.5 x 47.6 cm (25 x 18 3/4 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1930.105



This elegant and colorful initial G comes from a multivolume set of choral books illuminated by Don Silvestro, a Camaldolese monk, for his monastery of Santa Maria degli Angeli in Florence. In the original book, this initial would have introduced the text: Gaudeamus omnes in Domino (“Let us rejoice in the Lord”), the beginning of Introit, the introduction, for the Feast of All Saints on November 1. This beautiful initial is generally considered to be the artist’s masterpiece.

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