"[Illuminated Leaf]", Hardouin, Gilles
Subject: Early Printing
Period: 1500 (circa)
Color: Hand Color
4 x 6 inches
10.2 x 15.2 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.
Attractive vellum leaf from the transitional period with hand-painted initial and line fillers and architectural borders showing Biblical stories, hunting scenes and a medieval castle. The captions of the pictures are from the history of the Prodigal son, Luke 15. The main text is from the Office of the Dead with Psalms 114, 119, 120 and 129.