"[Book of Hours Leaf]", Anon.
Subject: Early Printing
Period: 1500 (circa)
Color: Hand Color
5.8 x 8.8 inches
14.7 x 22.4 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 burnished gold leaf. The text is surrounded by elaborate iron engravings that include plants and animals, as well as cherubs and a unicorn. Printed vellum Book of Hours leaves are very scarce, as they were only produced between 1496 and 1530. The text includes Psalm 129, which translates as:
Out of the depths I have cried to thee, O Lord:
Lord, hear my voice. Let thy ears be attentive to the voice of my supplication.
If thou, O Lord, wilt mark iniquities: Lord, who shall stand it.
For with thee there is merciful forgiveness: and by reason of thy law, I have waited for thee, O Lord.
My soul hath relied on his word:
my soul hath hoped in the Lord.
From the morning watch even until night, let Israel hope in the Lord.
Because with the Lord there is mercy: and with him plentiful redemption.
And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.