Northeastern France, Cambrai, 13th Century / Fragment of a Latin Bible with Historiated Initial (I); The Marriage at Cana / c. 1260-1270Northeastern France, Cambrai, 13th Century
Fragment of a Latin Bible with Historiated Initial (I); The Marriage at Cana
c. 1260-1270

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Creator Nationality: European; French
Creator Active Place: France, Cambrai
Creator Name-CRT: Northeastern France, Cambrai, 13th Century
Title: Fragment of a Latin Bible with Historiated Initial (I); The Marriage at Cana
Title Type: Primary
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1260
Creation End Date: 1270
Creation Date: c. 1260-1270
Object Type: Books
Classification Term: Manuscript
Materials and Techniques: ink, tempera, and gold on parchment
Dimensions: Sheet: 42cm x 15.3cm
AMICA Contributor: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 1952.565
Credit Line: Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund

The illuminator of this initial has placed three small scenes one above another to suggest the vertical stem of the initial 'I,' here standing for the introductory passages of the Gospel of St. John,

In principio erat verbum.... (In the beginning was the word). These initials have been called 'ladder initials' since the individual scenes are arranged one on top of the other to be read in sequence.

Each group of figures stands beneath a cusped gable and depicts scenes from the Marriage at Cana. At the top, Christ and the Virgin speak together; at center, Christ tells the attendant to fill the jars; and below, the banquet proceeds after the miraculous change of water into wine.

The present leaf (actually a fragment) comes from a large lectern bible, which, because of its size, probably existed in several volumes. In the 12th and 13th centuries, the large multi-volume bible was a standard form used for refectory readings or else kept in a library for reference.

AMICA ID: CMA_.1952.565
AMICA Library Year: 2002
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright, The Cleveland Museum of Art

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