Living Letters: Decorated Initials in Plimpton MS 034

This exhibit displays the decorated initials in Plimpton MS 034, a processional copied in 1351 for the Brussels convent of St. Clare. The aim is not so much to find a one-to-one correspondence between the anthropomorphic and zoomorphic letters and the chant texts, but rather to explore the types of figures portrayed in these initials and tentatively suggest some possible meanings. Since there is no evidence of a division of labor, I assume in this exhibit that Johannes de Havere was both the scribe and artist for this manuscript.

A note on the images: by hovering the mouse over each image, you can view the folio number. When you click on the image, you will be taken to the web page corresponding to the entire leaf.


Exhibit content by Julia Hamilton. I would like to thank Professor Susan Boynton, Consuelo Dutschke, Dagmar Riedel, and Andre Laboy for their help and advice during the creation of this exhibit.