Initial C with Saint Lawrence, ca. 1380–90
From a gradual
Don Simone Camaldolese (Italian, active 1375–98)
Tempera, gold, and ink on parchment; 5 7/8 x 7 1/2 in. (15 x 19.2 cm)
Bequest of Mrs. A. M. Minturn, 1890 (90.61.2)
When embellished with a figure or a scene, the opening letter of a hymn serves as a visual prompt to members of the choir. Here, the figure dressed as a deacon and holding a large grill is Saint Lawrence, whose feast is celebrated on August 10. Still visible in the margin is a note to the artist indicating that a figure (figura) should be painted in the letter.