Vellum leaf from an illuminated Medieval Manuscript
Latin Text; Transitional Gothic Script
This manuscript, a special gift to a church in the city of Beauvais, was written for Robert de Hangest, a canon, about 1285 A.D. At that time, Beauvais was one of the most important art centers in all Europe. The ornament in this leaf shows the first flowering of Gothic interest in nature. The formal heiratic treatment is here giving way to graceful naturalism. The ivy branch has put forth its first leaves in the history of ornament. The writing, likewise, is departing from its previous rigid character and displays an ornamental pliancy which harmonizes with the decorative initials.