"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.
Subject: Medieval Manuscripts
Period: 1475 (circa)
Color: Hand Color
4.6 x 6.3 inches
11.7 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.
A very pretty vellum leaf from a Parisian Book of Hours. It is decorated on both sides with gold ivy leaves on hairline stems with colorful flowers and fruit. The text is written in brown ink with initial and line-fillers painted in the traditional red, blue, white and burnished gold.
The recto side is very good. Some paint has rubbed off one of the line-fillers on verso and there is some show-through of the large initial.