"[Book of Hours Leaf]", Hardouin, Gilles
Period: 1526 (published)
Publication: Horae V.V.M. Secundumusum Romanvorn
4.5 x 7 inches
11.4 x 17.8 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.
Scenes of strange, apocalyptic creatures adorn this leaf with numerous illuminated capitals. Both sides are printed in Gothic textura type with illuminated capitals in red, blue and gold. The text is surrounded by elaborate scenes that are iron engravings. Printed vellum Book of Hours leaves are very scarce, as they were only produced between 1496 and 1530.
Wonderful engraving and decoration on excellent vellum.