Medi 452 1.1 - Page 11


The script is identified by the British Library as Caroline Miniscule. The text within the illustration appears to be written in clear capital letters, while the block of text below is written largely in lower case and is more cursive. The text within the illustration curves, stops, and starts to create the shape of the body of the beast. All of the writing is fairly clear and precise.

Miniatures/Decorative Elements: Description of Subject

The subject of the illustration is a constellation (Cetus, the Greco-Roman sea monster?) It has a wolf-like head, front claws and a fish tail. It has a slightly menacing look, with open jaws. The beast is depicted on a blank page, with no indications of environment. The reader may presumably imagine that the constellation exists in the sky, but he is not depicted in relation to any other constellations, or at a particular time.

Description of the Use of Colour

All marking on this page looks to be either blue or red in colour. The body of the two texts are blue. Colour is used in the main illustration to fill in some body parts of the constellation, framing the body of text inside. This colouring is done in shades of blue. Some red circles line the outside of the beast’s body, and a red colour is used to write “Sunt stellae xiii” beside the beast’s tail. There is red colouring in the lower text block on the first word of each line, and in a few corrections made to the blue text.

Description of the Work’s Focal Point(s)

The designer of this page has condensed all content into two distinct areas, the constellation picture and the text block below. My eye is first drawn to the image, but the lower text block competes with it. The strength of these focal points comes from their apposition to the blank space of the rest of the page. Within the illustration, the solid colour of the animal’s body parts frames the text in the center.