"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.
Subject: Medieval Manuscripts
Period: 1460 (circa)
Color: Hand Color
4.9 x 6.5 inches
12.4 x 16.5 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 leaf from a Parisian Book of Hours, written on a fine sheet of buttery, white vellum in black ink. Both sides of the leaf are decorated with initials and line fillers illuminated in red, blue, white and burnished gold leaf, as well as decorative panels painted with gold leaves on hairline stems with colorful flowers and fruits. There are also three line fillers. The text, beginning on recto at top is part of Psalm 18:
There are no speeches nor languages, where their voices are not heard.
Their sound hath gone forth into all the earth: and their words unto the ends of the world.
A lovely example with very minor soiling in bottom right corner.