A finely decorated leaf from a Latin Bible of the Old and New Testament, carefully calligraphed and ornamented in Britain at the beginning of the 13th Century. The leaf is composed of two columns of 44 lines, ruled in dark ink. The text is a fine example of the popular Medieval and Renaissance gothic book-hand script, known as lettre bâtarde. The leaf is executed in red, white, green and blue tempera, gold and liquid gold. The recto features a pigmented intra-columns decoration, comprising scrolls and geometric motives, ending at the bottom of the page with the depiction of a hybrid man-bird creature.
Hybrid creatures were extremely popular in Medieval Times, usually found on the margins of the written text. In Medieval culture and iconography, hybrids held an aesthetic and a didactic purpose: the Medieval person would have believed that sin, monstrosity and damnation, represented by the monstrous hybrid creature, lurked to the margins, while salvation and grace would have been found in the written text.
Period: Britain, circa early 13th century AD