(Italy, perhaps Tuscany, 15th century, but with a 20th century[?] miniature). 591 x 406 mm. (23 1/4 x 16"). Five lines of text beneath five four-line staves of music, the text in a very large, clean gothic book hand.
Rubrics in red, three large initials painted in red or blue with elaborate penwork in the contrasting color, the verso WITH A FINE MODERN REPLICA HISTORIATED INITIAL showing a young, strong, dark-skinned figure who appears to be Christ, considerable leafy foliage emanating from the letter up and down the left margin (the initial measuring approximately 95 x 110 mm.). Lower outer corner ragged, the hair side of the leaf with minor overall darkening, slight soiling, and faint wrinkling, but a leaf with no serious problems and generally pleasing, especially because the initial is in perfect condition.
Of the modern initials found on this and the previous leaf, the present one is clearly the best. Not only do we note how carefully the paint has been applied here, but we sense a power and dynamism in the portrayal that makes this historiation much different from the other examples. In such details as the thickness of the figure's neck and the profundity of his gaze, we feel the artist's visual message--that this is a strong, devoted, and determined Christ--communicated with powerful emotional impact. (ST11405a)
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PJP Catalog: 70.481