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Initial "P" (Petrus Apostolus)


Description Provenance Credit
Description The undulating bodies of two winged dragons with foliate tails form this letter "P." A profile, bearded, and mustached human face at the very end of the letters tail disgorges a fleshy stalk crowned with large profile leaves, from which emerge two further profile faces. These faces, clean-shaven and connected at the ears, open their mouths in order to eat small flowers or plants that grow from the tops of the leaves--as if devouring the very source of their existence.
Provenance Priory scriptorium of Rochester Cathedral, England, 12th century [possible reference in catalog in Textus Roffensis, Rochester Cathedral Library Ms. A.3.5, fol. 230r; more certain reference in 1202 library catalog in British Library Ms. Royal 5 B.XII, fol. 2r]; Leon Gruel, Paris, before 1931 [mode of acquisition unknown, no. 1138]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, before 1931, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters

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Creator
Period
ca. 1130 (Medieval)
Medium
ink and pigments on cream-colored parchment of medium thickness
(Manuscripts & Rare Books)
Accession Number
W.18.146R
Measurements
H: 15 3/16 x W: 11 1/8 in. (38.5 x 28.3 cm)
Geography
  • Rochester Priory in Rochester, England, United Kingdom (Place of Origin)
Location Within Museum
Not On View

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