"[Book of Hours Leaf]", Anon.
Subject: Medieval Manuscripts
Period: 1485 (circa)
Color: Hand Color
4.5 x 6.3 inches
11.4 x 16 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.
Fine vellum leaf from a French Book of Hours from a Parisian scriptorium. The leaf has a panel border on both sides with flowers and fruit in bright colors. The text is written in a regular Gothic bookhand in black ink. Both sides are decorated with initials and line fillers painted in red, blue, white and burnished gold. A large initial on the verso is beautifully illuminated with a pretty flower on a burnished gold background.
Some soil in the blank margins.