"[Illuminated Leaf]", Hardouin, Gilles
Subject: Early Printing
Period: 1510 (circa)
Color: Hand Color
4.4 x 7.3 inches
11.2 x 18.5 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.
An exquisitely crafted vellum leaf , the recto is highlighted by illuminated capitals painted in red, blue and liquid gold, and the verso is filled with a splendid gilt painting of King David, atoning for his adultery with Bathsheba. This is from a Book of Hours printed on vellum by Gilles Hardouin for Germain Hardouin librayre 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) of Paris. This leaf is from the transitional period when the new technology of printing with movable type was combined with the more labor intensive methods of hand painting.