TEXT FROM THE OPENING OF LUKE.

(Southern France, perhaps Bordeaux, ca. 1300). 330 x 230 mm. (13 x 9 1/16"). Double column, 40 lines of text in an extraordinarily fine gothic book hand.

Attractively matted. Rubrics in red, capitals struck with red, RECTO WITH TWO BEAUTIFUL INITIALS in colors and gold, THE FIRST AN EIGHT-LINE "Q" CONTAINING A PICTURE OF LUKE dressed in a red robe, addressing the reader through his prologue to Theophilus, the scene set against a blue background with columns and stars traced in wispy white, the tail of the "Q" flowing into a very large 13-line "L" adorned with a flowering blue branch bearing pink and white blossoms and burnished gold disks, the whole on a pale pink background with white tracery, a wide blue descender emanating from the bottom of the capital and running the length of the text, terminating in the lower margin with a cluster of pink blossoms and a stalk bearing a large gold disc; the VERSO WITH A STRIKING 17-LINE HISTORIATED "F" showing Zacharias as an old man fulfilling his temple service, kneeling and praying before the altar (as set forth in the accompanying text), the picture with a tessellated pale pink background, the body of the initial in pink on a dark blue background featuring elaborate white tracery accented with burnished gold disks, a curling extension at the tail with a burst of yellow, gold, pink, and white fruit, and a wide ascender in pink, blue, white, and burnished gold running upward the length of the column. IN THE SAME EXCEPTIONALLY FINE CONDITION AS THE PREVIOUS LEAF.

Another leaf from the very fine Bible described in the preceding entry and just as desirable for its aesthetic qualities, the text of this one--as it includes the opening of the Gospel of Luke--is of very special appeal. Among much else here, the first chapter, for example, contains two great announcements made by the angel Gabriel: the first to the doubting Zacharias, informing him of the imminent birth of John the Baptist, and the second being the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary, telling her that she would bear the Savior of mankind. The text of both the "Ave Maria" and the "Magnificat" is taken from this passage. The first column on the recto here is entirely occupied with the conclusion of Mark's Gospel, which ends with an Explicit at the very bottom. Then follows the first of two prologues, accompanying the image of Luke and beginning "Quoniam quidem"; this is Luke's own prologue (addressed to Theophilus). In the Medieval vulgate textual tradition, Luke's prologue was always textually discrete from the Gospel itself (which opens with "Fuit in diebus Herodis"), and the normal order was Jerome's Prologue, followed by Luke's Prologue, and then the beginning of the Gospel. In this manuscript the order is inverted, with Luke's Prologue preceding Jerome's. Of particular interest here are the notes for the rubricator (in a scratchy, tiny, but entirely legible hand) that appear at the very edge of the top and bottom margins; these instruct the rubricator--whose work was done separately from the main scribe--as to what the basic wording of his rubrics and headlines are to be. These notes would normally be trimmed off by the binder, so it's a special feature that they are still present.
(ST12086b)

Keywords: Bibles

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PJP Catalog: 70.373

TEXT FROM THE OPENING OF LUKE.
TEXT FROM THE OPENING OF LUKE.
TEXT FROM THE OPENING OF LUKE.
TEXT FROM THE OPENING OF LUKE.