Manuscript Illumination with Saint Lawrence in an Initial C, from a Gradual

Artist: Don Simone Camaldolese (Italian, active Florence, 1375–98)

Date: ca. 1380–90

Geography: Made in Florence, Italy

Culture: Italian

Medium: Tempera, ink and gold on parchment

Dimensions: Overall: 5 7/8 x 7 9/16 in. (15 x 19.2 cm)
Mat size: 10 11/16 x 12 1/2 in. (27.2 x 31.8 cm)

Classification: Manuscripts and Illuminations

Credit Line: Bequest of Mrs. A. M. Minturn, 1890

Accession Number: 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.