"[Illuminated Leaf]", Hardouin, Gilles
Subject: Early Printing
Period: 1526 (published)
Publication: Horae V.V.M. Secundumusum Romanvorn
Color: Hand Color
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.
Both sides are printed in Gothic textura type with numerous illuminated capitals in red, blue and gold. The text lists the various saints, surrounded by elaborate, iron engraved scenes. Among these is a spectacular engraving of Judith with the head of Holofernes speared on her sword, as well as St. Peter removing some hideous creature held on a rope. Printed vellum Book of Hours leaves are very scarce, as they were only produced between 1496 and 1530.
Light offsetting of color, still very nice.