"[Book of Hours Leaf]", Anon.
Subject: Early Printing
Period: 1530 (circa)
Color: Hand Color
4.6 x 7 inches
11.7 x 17.8 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.
Unusual 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 two griffin-like figures with human heads. 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 the Song of Zechariah, the Benedictus in the Gospel of Luke (1:68-79), and translates in part as:
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
he has come to his people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty savior,
born of the house of his servant David.
Through his holy prophets he promised of old
that he would save us from our enemies,
from the hands of all who hate us.
He promised to show mercy to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant.
A bright sheet with minor soiling.