Historiated initial 'M', by the Maestro della Matricola dei Beccai. Perugia, c.1315-20. c. 1315-20
Large historiated initial 'M' cut from an illuminated manuscript choir book on vellum.
Size (of the image): 14.5 x 12cm (5.7 x 4.7 inches)
The angel Gabriel carrying a golden staff emerges from the left half of the initial and addresses the Virgin who stands at the right hand side.
It is likely that this initial opened the Antiphon 'Missus est Gabriel Angelus ad Mariam Virginem' for the Office of the Feast of the Annunciation in an antiphonal. The colour range, emphatic modelling and foliage of this handsome initial are all characteristic of Umbrian manuscript illumination of the first third of the fourteenth century.