Free Library of Philadelphia


Initial R with an Allegory of Death

This initial begins the Introit for the Commemoration of the Dead, "Requiem eternam dona eis, Domine..." (Lord, grant them eternal rest). The inscriptions in the initial and the skulls are "memento mori," or reminders that death comes to all. The style of illumination and the illusionistic border decoration with a golden background is typical of Flemish illumination at this time.

This manuscript has been dated to ca. 1530-1550.

Digital Scriptorium ShelfMark:

Rare Book Department