Sano di Pietro, Siena, mid-15th century

Paris, Musée Marmottan, Inv. M6049

The universal experience of a painter from Siena at the beginning of modern times is exemplified in the monumental initial with an oval opening at the centre of the O, which might also be read as a refined D. The world therein is portrayed as a flat disc with green mountains from which rivers spring and flow into the surrounding ocean; the disc itself seems to float in the splendid blue of the universe. Countless stars shine in the clear blue sky; a number of others stars are strewn on the soil, like yellow flowers. With his right hand God points to a glowing light, as if he is just about to add another celestial body to the ocean of stars.