"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.
Subject: Medieval Manuscripts
Period: 1300 (circa)
Color: Hand Color
3.9 x 5.4 inches
9.9 x 13.7 cm
Book of Hours were prayer books designed for the laity, but modeled on the Divine Office, a cycle of daily devotions, prayers and readings, performed by members of religious orders and the clergy. Its central text is the Hours of the Virgin. There are eight hours (times for prayer ): Matins, Lauds. Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers and Compline. During the Middle Ages, the leaves making up a Book of Hours were written by hand on expensive parchment and beautifully illuminated with jewel-like pigments and gold leaf. These illuminated manuscripts combined the collaborative efforts of an array of highly skilled craftspeople; requiring the joint labors of the parchmenter, professional scribes to write the text in Gothic script, artists to illuminate the pages with decorations, and masterful binders to complete the process.
A beautiful vellum leaf from the calendar in a French Book of Hours. The text is written in a regular gothic bookhand in Gothic book hand in black and red ink. This leaf for the months of September and October details the number of days and moons, followed by the saint's days (with the more important ones written in red). The large initials KL for kalender are highlighted with blue penwork.
There is light toning and some small holes caused by the oxidation of the black ink.