Original leaf from a Medieval Missal. Two columns (32 lines each) of Latin text, written black & red in rotunda script on animal parchment. (355 x 248mm – 14 x 9 3/4'')
Six illuminated two-line initials alternately in deep blue with fine red or violet pen scroll tracery, & red with fine blue pen scroll tracery all extending into the margins. Whimsical creatures found in the penwork – including a rabbit, bird and two turtles!!
Italy (probably Bologna), c. 1470-80.
The first illuminated blue ''I'' begins Leviticus 26:3-12: ''In diebus...'' (In those days the Lord said to Moses Keep my Sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the Lord. If you walk in my precepts, and keep my commandments, and do them, I will give you rain in due seasons...I will walk among you, and will be your God, and you shall be my people....).
The next illuminated blue ''I'' begins Daniel 3 (Song of Three Youths) 3:49-51: ''In diebus illus...'' (In those days the angel of the Lord went down with Azarias and his companions into the furnace: and he drove the flame of the fire out of the furnace...).
The illuminated blue ''F'' begins Romans 5:1-5: ''Fratres. Justificati...'' (My brothers, Being justified therefore by faith, let us have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access through faith into this grace wherein we stand, and glory in the hope of the glory of the sons of God...).
Missals contain the texts necessary for the performance of the Mass (including chants, prayers, and readings) together with ceremonial directions.