IM-3395: (585 x 420mm, 23 x 16 1/2'') Original leaf from a manuscript Choir Book. The sixteen lines of ruled chant is written with black ink on animal parchment. Large initials alternating in red and blue.
Lombardy (Milan?), c. 1470
One exceptional illuminated initial contains a miniature painting of Zacharias &John the Baptist. An elderly Zacharias is shown leading his young son along a path, with the River Jordan visible in the background. Both wear halos, and John the Baptist carries a golden cross over his shoulder. Surrounding the painting is the highly decorative letter ''B'', with four infant boys on the left, and the letter closing in the center with two bird heads meeting. The initial and painting rest on a ground of burnished gold.
The chant opens with the Song of Zacharias - Luke 1:68-74: ''Benedictus...'' (Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; because he hath visited and wrought the redemption of his people: & hath raised up an horn of salvation to us, in the house of David his servant...).