"[Illuminated Leaf]", Hardouin, Gilles
Subject: Early Printing
Period: 1518 (circa)
Color: Hand Color
4.5 x 7.2 inches
11.4 x 18.3 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.
A wonderful vellum leaf from a Book of Hours printed by Gilles Hardouin for Germain Hardouin,lLibrayre demourant entre les deux portes du Palays en l’enseigne Saincte Marguerite (bookseller living between the two gates of the Palace at the sign of Saint Marguerite). The text is from the beginning of the book in the gospel readings; John and Luke. On the recto is a tall picture of John blessing the cup of wine, and on the verso is a smaller one of Luke writing the gospel. These miniatures are painted by hand, where as the text in printed from metal type.