A sparkling miniature by the Master of the Brussels Initials, one of the dominant personalities in Bolognese manuscript illumination between the end of the 14th century and the first decades of the 15th.

The Master of the Brussels Initials takes his name from a series of illuminations in a Book of Hours in the Royal Library in Brussels (MS 11060-1). Heavily endebted to Niccolò di Giacomo da Bologna, from whom he derives the broad figural style and brilliant, electric palette, he worked in Paris during the first decade of the 15th century before returning to Bologna, where he was responsible for the illumination of the statutes of the Compagnia dei Devoti Battuti di Santa Maria della Vita, dated 1408 (Biblioteca Comunale dell'Archiginnasio, Fondo Ospedali 6). Massimo Medica has recently identified the Master as Giovanni di fra' Silvestro (see M. Medica, 'Un nome per il "Maestro delle Iniziali di Bruxelles": Giovanni di fra’ Silvestro', Bollettino dei Musei civici d'Arte Antica, 2011, pp.11-22).

The present cutting is to be associated to eight other cuttings currently in private and public collections. These are: Venice, Fondazione Giorgio Cini 2048; New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 31.134.1; Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum RP-T-1937-1; Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum, MS McClean 201.13g; an initial 'E' with St Dominic formerly at Maggs Brothers, Bulletin No 1, 1962, cat. 6; an initial 'E' with Christ Blessing, ex-Lehman, Treasures of a Lost Art, no 34; an initial 'D' with Christ washing the feet of the Apostles formerly in the Holford Collection; and an initial 'D' with St Nicholas of Bari sold at Christie's, 26 June 1991, lot 12. All were probably excised from a single volume.

Count Grigory Sergeievich Stroganoff (1829-1910): his erased stamp on reverse. We would like to thank Peter Kidd for this identification.

Physical Description:
135 x 135mm (5⅜ x 5⅜ in.), the infill showing the Evangelist seated beside his attentive symbol as he writes.

Please note this lot is the property of a private consignor.
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