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During the tenth, eleventh and twelfth centuries, the Romanesque style became the one most often used throughout Europe. The first letter of a chapter, called the "initial cap" was often very large, and illuminators would create a painting showing a Bible story or historical event inside the initial cap. The Romanesque style often included decorations using strange animals. The example of the Romanesque style shown below is from a book called Gloss on the Psalms, created in the 12th century.

Here is a close-up view of the inital cap "D" from the page shown above. The painting inside the letter is of King David, sitting on a throne, playing a harp. Notice how the top part of the letter is formed by a mythical animal.


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