‘Logo’ of Bifolium

groningen_ub_3_detail.jpgHere is a full colour picture of the diligently writing monk that serves as the logo for Bifolium. It is taken from an initial in MS Groningen UB 3 ( fol. 3r), a thirteenth-century so-called Parisian bible.

The little monk is really small, the original size of the initial is more or less that of the thumbnail shown here. He’s always been known as the writing monk, but looking at the enlarged photo I tend to agree with the suggestion made by Harry Perton that he is not writing but reading. It is indeed easier to identify the ‘objects’ in his hands with two penknives used to keep the book more or less flat, than with a knife and a pen. Or maybe the artist was just not that good at painting hands?