05 January 2013

Et Ecce Stella! (Epiphany)

"And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was. They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh."
-Matthew 2: 9-11

I know I should not be too eager for Christmas to end, but I have been waiting ages for the perfect opportunity to share this beautiful illumination. It is taken from a page of a giant antiphonal housed in the collections of the The Lilly Library at Indiana University Bloomington (from which you are highly encouraged to acquire a copy of the marvelous exhibition catalog in which in is featured-it is worth owning, I promise). Of all the things I have chanced to come into contact with while working in a library, this is one of my favorites. Aside from its obvious beauty, the intricate detail is simply wondrous. The entire letter is all of perhaps 5-6" high. Even corners which are plain at first sight contain delicate images of their own:

May we be ever so eager to approach the Christ child!

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