"[Book of Hours Leaf]", Kerver, Thielman
Subject: Early Printing
Period: 1500 (circa)
Color: Hand Color
4.9 x 7.9 inches
12.4 x 20.1 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.
A rare vellum leaf from a Parisian Book of Hours, made during the transitional period when printing and illumination were combined. The printers at that time used the same type of letters that were used by the scribes, so the result looked like a manuscript. The initials, line fillers and border were then added by hand. This leaf includes a superb border decoration with leaves, flowers and scrolls. The text includes Psalm 66, and beginning with the large "D" on recto translate as:
May God have mercy on us, and bless us:
May he cause the light of his countenance to shine upon us, and may he have mercy on us.
That we may know thy way upon earth: thy salvation in all nations.
Let people confess to thee, O God: let all people give praise to thee.
Let the nations be glad and rejoice:
For thou judgest the people with justice, and directest the nations upon earth.
Let the people, O God, confess to thee: let all the people give praise to thee:
The earth hath yielded her fruit. May God, our God bless us,
May God bless us: and all the ends of the earth fear him.
Light toning and soiling.