“Spend five minutes with the Italian choir book featured in the exhibition Heaven and Earth: Byzantine Illumination at the Cultural Crossroads. It is one of the largest manuscripts in the Museum’s collection, but the intricacy of its pages is what I find compelling. The Latin words, the musical notation, the form of the letter “h” that encloses the scene of the Nativity, the monumental form of the Virgin, and the humble ox and donkey peeking over the edge of the manger at the Christ Child—all combine to remind me of why I love manuscripts.” 

Recommended viewing for slowartday from our manuscripts curator, Elizabeth Morrison.

To zoom in and let your “eyes” wanter, click here.

Initial H: The Nativity (detail) in an Antiphonal, late 1200s, Master of Gerona. J. Paul Getty Museum.

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