"[Illuminated Leaf]", Hardouin, Gilles
Subject: Early Printing
Period: 1526 (circa)
Publication: Horae B.V.M. Secundumusum Romanvorn
Color: Hand Color
3.7 x 6.3 inches
9.4 x 16 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, blue and gold. The text is surrounded by elaborate scenes which are iron engravings and include the publisher's initials at bottom on verso. This is from a Book of Hours printed on vellum by Gilles Hardouin for Germain Hardouin librayre demourant entre les deux portes du Palays en l’enseigne Saincte Marguerite (bookseller living between the two gates of the Palace at the sign of Saint Marguerite) of Paris. 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. The text begins with Psalm 31 on recto and translates as:
Because I was silent my bones grew old; whilst I cried out all the day long.
For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: I am turned in my anguish, whilst the thorn is fastened.
I have acknowledged my sin to thee, and my injustice I have not concealed. I said I will confess against myself my injustice to the Lord: and thou hast forgiven the wickedness of my sin.
For this shall every one that is holy pray to thee in a seasonable time. And yet in a flood of many waters, they shall not come nigh unto him.
Thou art my refuge from the trouble which hath encompassed me: my joy, deliver me from them that surround me.
Light soiling with some green stains along the fore-edge of the leaf.