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Collections | Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Christ in Majesty

Christ in Majesty
Leaf from a Laudario, in Italian
Illuminated by Pacino di Bonaguida for the Compagnia di Sant'Agnese
Italy, Florence, ca. 1340
454 x 335 mm
The Morgan Library & Museum; MS M.742
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This leaf is one of twenty-three leaves and cuttings from a Laudario that was broken up by the early nineteenth century. The long-headed, narrow-eyed figures, boneless hands, and greenish-lavender flesh tones are hallmarks of Pacino da Bonaguida, one of the most important painters/illuminators active in Florence during the first half of the fourteenth century. This Laudario was his last major work.

One of Pacino's finest, the leaf begins with a lauda addressed to the Trinity: Alta Trinita beata (Highest blessed Trinity). Its large miniature shows Christ in Majesty flanked by roses and lilies. Below his winged mandorla is part of the earth, surrounded by the ocean and the firmament. The four corner medallions—the three men appearing to Abraham, the three men seated behind the altar with the central one holding a host, the Throne of Mercy, and a single person with three heads—represent the Trinity. The central bottom medallion shows a kneeling man, perhaps the donor or artist.

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The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.