"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.
Subject: Medieval Manuscripts
Period: 1360 (circa)
3.5 x 5 inches
8.9 x 12.7 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.
A simple vellum leaf from a French Book of Hours. The only decoration is the large initial T in gold on a blue and red background. Written in brown ink with a small section in red in a different hand, which was likely added later. It reads, "Ici a belle oroyson de nostre signour láquelle est en Latin" (with the word Latin crossed out and replaced with Francois.
There are some stains in the blank margins.