Manuscript Illumination with the Beheading of Saint Paul in an Initial S, from a Gradual

Artist: Master of Bagnacavallo (active late 13th century)

Date: ca. 1278

Geography: Made in Imola, Italy

Culture: Italian

Medium: Tempera and ink on parchment

Dimensions: Overall: 4 5/8 x 4 5/8 in. (11.8 x 11.8 cm)

Classification: Manuscripts and Illuminations

Credit Line: Gift of Bradish Johnson Carroll, 1926

Accession Number: 26.159.2


The Beheading of Saint Paul is one of two cuttings in the Metropolitan Museum's collection that was excised from the ensemble of choir books created for the Cathedral of Imola, near Bologna. As was often the case, the choir books were probably produced around the time of the cathedral's completion in 1271 and consecration in 1278. The patron may have been Bishop Sinibaldo Meloti da Certaldo, who also commissioned the decoration of the cathedral's tribune.