On the page facing a prayer dedicated to him, Saint Gregory the Great sits before an altar and looks up toward the divine light entering the niche. The saint opens his mouth, singing. The putto on the left wrapped in a scroll with musical notes probably refers to Gregory's authorship of the devotional music known as Gregorian chant. This miniature, along with the majority of the figural decoration in this book of hours, appears in the section of the book devoted to the Suffrages.

The illuminator Taddeo Crivelli displayed his facility with spatial effects in this miniature. The structure housing the saint is a fantastic creation of classical architecture. Despite the apparent logic of the building, its base hovers in mid-air, overlapping the miniature's frame on the right. The putto tangled up in a scroll, the twisting blue banderole, the sharp, shimmering rays of gold in the border, and the energetic lines of the marble behind the saint's head give the painting a heightened emotional pitch.


  • Title: Saint Gregory
  • Creator: Taddeo Crivelli
  • Date Created: about 1469
  • Location Created: Ferrara, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
  • Physical Dimensions: Leaf: 10.8 × 7.9 cm (4 1/4 × 3 1/8 in.)
  • Type: Folio
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Tempera colors, gold paint, gold leaf, and ink on parchment
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 83.ML.109.172v
  • Culture: Italian
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Ms. Ludwig IX 13, fol. 172v
  • Creator Display Name: Taddeo Crivelli (Italian, died about 1479, active about 1451 - 1479)
  • Classification: Manuscripts (Documents)

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