"[Book of Hours Leaf]", Anon.
Subject: Early Printing
Period: 1530 (circa)
Color: Hand Color
4.6 x 7.1 inches
11.7 x 18 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 several interesting mythical figures. 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 on verso is the suffrage of St. Sebastian, and translates in part as:
O how the renowned martyr Sebastian shone with a wonderful grace, he who bore the marks of a soldier but was urged on by a palm from the brothers, greatly strengthened fearful hearts, since the heavenly word had been conferred upon him. Pray for us, blessed martyr Sebastian. That we may deserve to pass unharmed through the plague and obtain the promise of Christ.
Minor soiling with a dampstain at top left.