"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.
Subject: Early Printing
Period: 1530 (circa)
Color: Hand Color
3.8 x 5.9 inches
9.7 x 15 cm
This leaf is from the brief transitional period when the new technology of printing with movable type was combined with the more labor intensive methods of hand painting. The earliest printers were trained in the manuscript tradition and incorporated the conventions of historiated initials and illustrations into their early work. At first they left those spaces blank for the illuminator to complete entirely by hand. Later they developed printing methods (using woodcuts or iron engravings) to decorate the leaves.
Unusual vellum leaf printed in Gothic textura type with illuminated capitals in red and blue. The text is surrounded by elaborate iron engravings that include plants and animals, including birds, rabbits, a horse and a bat. These leaves are from the transitional period when the new technology of printing with movable type was combined with the more labor intensive methods of hand painting. Printed vellum Book of Hours leaves are very scarce, as they were only produced between 1496 and 1530. This leaf includes on recto a vignette from the Book of Revelation in which John encounters a seven-headed beast.
A couple of minor stains, otherwise clean and bright.