Bifolium Excised from an Antiphonary: Initial D[ominus Iesus] with the Calling of Peter and Andrew

Bifolium Excised from an Antiphonary: Initial D[ominus Iesus] with the Calling of Peter and Andrew

c. 1425-1450

Ink, tempera, and gold on vellum

Sheet: 56 x 41 cm (22 1/16 x 16 1/8 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1943.386

Description

The event portrayed within this historiated initial comes from the Gospel of Saint Mark (1:16–18). It recounts the story of Jesus walking on the shore of the Sea of Galilee when he saw Simon [Peter] and his brother Andrew casting nets from their boat. Jesus called upon the brothers to become his followers. Departing from tradition, the illuminator has portrayed Christ beardless, perhaps to suggest the end of his private life. The rubrics (red explanatory notes) above and to the right of the initial read: In vigili sci Andree apli (“On the vigil of the Feast of Saint Andrew the Apostle”). The feast of Saint Andrew is celebrated on November 30; the vigil is November 29. The arms below are those of the Bolognese Cardinal Bassarione (1439–1472) who appears to have commissioned the manuscript for a convent in Bologna.

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