"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.
Subject: Medieval Manuscripts
Period: 1460 (circa)
Color: Hand Color
5.1 x 7 inches
13 x 17.8 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. The leaf is decorated with one large initial, six small initials, and several line fillers illuminated in red, blue, white and burnished gold leaf. The verso features a decorative panel painted with gold leaves on hairline stems with colorful leaves and fruits.
Very light soiling with some minute worm holes only visible when held to light. Minor remnants of hinge tape on recto.