"[Manuscript Leaf]", Anon.
Subject: Medieval Manuscripts
Period: 1450 (circa)
2.3 x 3.2 inches
5.8 x 8.1 cm
Book of Hours were prayer books designed for the laity, but modeled on the Divine Office, a cycle of daily devotions, prayers and readings, performed by members of religious orders and the clergy. Its central text is the Hours of the Virgin. There are eight hours (times for prayer ): Matins, Lauds. Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers and Compline. During the Middle Ages, the leaves making up a Book of Hours 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, and masterful binders to complete the process.
A tiny vellum leaf from an Italian Book of Hours. The text is in a fine Renaissance letter handwritten in brown ink. One large initial with penwork in red and blue extending into the margin.
The text is from the Hours of the Virgin, Lauds, Psalm 148.
Let us bless the Father, and the Son with the Holy Ghost: let us praise, and extol him forever.
Blessed art thou, O Lord, in the firmament of heaven: and praised, and glorified, and extolled forever. Amen.
Thou daughter art blessed of our Lord: for that by thee we have partaken
of the fruit of life. Fair art thou.
Praise ye our Lord from the heavens: praise ye him in the high places.
Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his powers.
Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise ye him, all ye stars and light.
Praise him, ye heavens of heavens: and all the waters that are above the heavens,
let them praise the name of our Lord.
Because he spoke, and they were made.