"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.
Subject: Medieval Manuscripts
Period: 1480 (circa)
Color: Hand Color
3 x 4.5 inches
7.6 x 11.4 cm
Book of Hours were prayer books designed for the laity, but modeled on the Divine Office, a cycle of daily devotions, prayers and readings, performed by members of religious orders and the clergy. Its central text is the Hours of the Virgin. There are eight hours (times for prayer ): Matins, Lauds. Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers and Compline. During the Middle Ages, the leaves making up a Book of Hours were written by hand on expensive parchment and beautifully illuminated with jewel-like pigments and gold leaf. These illuminated manuscripts combined the collaborative efforts of an array of highly skilled craftspeople; requiring the joint labors of the parchmenter, professional scribes to write the text in Gothic script, artists to illuminate the pages with decorations, and masterful binders to complete the process.
This meticulously crafted vellum leaf was created in Burgundy. The verso contains a very fine illuminated capital 'O', filled with a miniature portrait of St. Andrew. The saint is shown with his gospel and the saltire, or St. Andrew's Cross, on which he was martyred. The miniature is expertly painted in colors of blue, red, white and liquid gold.
There is a small natural flaw in the vellum in the bottom margin.