Object Image

All Saints in an Initial E or O

This cutting may have been part of a lost set of choirbooks decorated by the Osservanza Master for the Church of Sant'Agostino in Siena. The initial E, excised from an antiphonary, introduces one of the responses for the Feast of All Saints (November 1): "Exultent justi in conspectu Dei" (Let the just exult before God). Inside the initial, painted to resemble an architectural interior, is the Virgin in prayer, surrounded by Saints. Standing next to her in the foreground are Saint Augustine on the left, and Saint Paul on the right. Partly visible behind them are the heads and gold haloes of numerous other saints.

The close stylistic affinities between works attributed to the enigmatic Osservanz...

c. 1430-40
Tempera and gold on parchment
17.0 x 14.0cm
Image and text © Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2019

Where you'll find this

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Permanent collection