"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.
Subject: Medieval Manuscripts
Period: 1485 (circa)
Publication: Book of Hours
Color: Hand Color
3.8 x 5.6 inches
9.7 x 14.2 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 beautiful leaf from a French Book of Hours. The text is from the Hours of the Virgin, Matins, Psalms 44 and 45. Both sides are richly illuminated with several initials, line fillers and panels of colorful flowers and leaves. Provenance: From the collection of the Edward Laurence Doheny Memorial Library, St. John’s Seminary, Camarillo, California.
A partial translation is as follows: And the king shall greatly desire thy beauty; for he is the Lord thy God, and him they shall adore. And the daughters of Tyre with gifts, yea, all the rich among the people, shall entreat thy countenance. All the glory of the king's daughter is within in golden borders, clothed round about with varieties. After her shall virgins be brought to the king: her neighbours shall be brought to thee. They shall be brought with gladness and rejoicing: they shall be brought into the temple of the king. Instead of thy fathers, sons are born to thee: thou shalt make them princes over all the earth.
Small ink smudge on verso, else very fine.