The style of this sensitively illuminated historiated initial V, showing us the venerable St. Benedict, is unusual but the foliage and other decorations point to a probable Florentine origin. The facial features of Benedict are not as idealised as Tuscan and Florentine painting is, however. His nose is rather broad, his narrow-set eyes gaze with melancholy, and his furrowed forehead suggests concern or worry.
The Abbot is dressed in a long white robe – the hooded habit of the Ordo Sancti Benedicti, which Benedict of Nursia founded in 529 on the Monte Cassino. In his right hand, he carries a bishop’s staff, in his left, he holds a black book, probably symbolising the Benedictine Rule. On his head, he carries a white mitre adorned with braids in gold, blue, and red.