"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.
Subject: Early Printing
Period: 1500 (circa)
Color: Hand Color
5.1 x 7.8 inches
13 x 19.8 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.
This leaf is from a Book of Hours from the transitional period when the new technology of printing with movable type was combined with the more labor intensive methods of hand painting. Illuminated manuscript books of hours were costly to make, and early printers realized the commercial value in printing larger quantities of illustrated books of hours at a lower cost. These printers tried to make their books of hours appear as similar to the manuscript books as possible, even going so far as to mimic the red lines scribes used to keep their text uniform. This leaf has numerous initials that were hand painted in red, blue and gold, including six three-line initials. The text is from a Commemoration of the Saints and translates (in part) as:
All ye Saints of God, deign to intercede for our and all men's salvation.
Rejoice in the Lord, and exult, ye just.
And glory, all ye upright of heart.
Protect, Lord, Thy people, and by Thy everlasting defence preserve them that trust in the patronage of Thy Apostles Peter and Paul, and the other Apostles.
May all Thy Saints, we beg, Lord, everywhere help us, that when we recall their merits, we may feel their patronage: both grant us peace in our times, and drive away all wickedness from Thy Church: dispose our way, acts and wills, and that of all Thy servants, in the prosperity of Thy salvation: repay our benefactors with everlasting good things: and give eternal rest to all the faithful departed.
Minor marginal toning and one tiny hole.