"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.
Subject: Medieval Manuscripts
Period: 1300 (circa)
3.5 x 4.8 inches
8.9 x 12.2 cm
A Breviary is liturgical book used for the celebration of the Divine Office. All members of monastic orders and the clergy are committed to the daily recitation prayers, devotions and reading contained in the breviary. During the Middle Ages, the leaves making up a Breviary were written by hand on expensive parchment and beautifully illuminated with jewel-like pigments and gold leaf. These illuminated manuscripts combined the collaborative efforts of an array of highly skilled craftspeople; requiring the joint labors of the parchmenter, professional scribes to write the text in Gothic script, artists to illuminate the pages with decorations in a laborious manner with handmade paints and gold leaf, and masterful binders to complete the process.
Vellum leaf from a Breviary written in Flanders, probably Bruges, by Dominican or Franciscan monks, who traveled throughout Europe. The verso is decorated with a magnificentl initial "D" illuminated with a painted figure in red, blue, green and gold leaf. The text is from Psalm 25.
The vellum has a large hole that is a natural flaw in the vellum and the manuscript was written around the hole. As this is from a traveling Breviary, it is well worn and somewhat soiled.