"[Book of Hours Leaf]", Kerver, Thielman
Subject: Early Printing
Period: 1507 (circa)
Color: Hand Color
4.3 x 6.6 inches
10.9 x 16.8 cm
Striking vellum leaf from this important transitional period when books began to be printed from movable type, decorated with metal-cut illustrations and combined with hand-painted illuminated initials. It is printed on vellum in black and red with many initials hand painted in red, blue and gold. Around the text are scenes from the Danse Macabre, a popular subject with medieval artists; Death is shown dancing with a woman walking with crutches, and a peasant woman. The text is a prayer to the Virgin Mary. On the verso is an illustration depicting the Holy Virgin with her most important attributes. The left upper part of the picture shows the sun and the moon with the indications electa ut sol (selected above the sun) and pulcra ut luna ( beautiful as the moon). The lower right part of the picture contains the image of a mirror with the banderole indicating speculum sine macula (spotless mirror). The Marian vocabulary of attributes is derived from the Canticum Canticorum, or Song of Songs in the Old Testament.
A nice vellum leaf with a few faint spots.