"[Illuminated Leaf]", Hardouin, Gilles
Subject: Early Printing
Period: 1510 (circa)
4.3 x 6.8 inches
10.9 x 17.3 cm
This leaf is from the brief transitional period when the new technology of printing with movable type was combined with the more labor intensive methods of hand painting. The earliest printers were trained in the manuscript tradition and incorporated the conventions of historiated initials and illustrations into their early work. At first they left those spaces blank for the illuminator to complete entirely by hand. Later they developed printing methods (using woodcuts or iron engravings) to decorate the leaves.
Fine vellum leaf from this transitional period combining both printed text, metal cut illustrative borders and illuminated initials. The illustrations include Biblical stories, hunting scenes and architectural designs. The initials and line fillers are painted in red, blue and liquid gold. The text is from Psalm 39 and 40.