"[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 on paper in Gothic textura type with illuminated capitals in red and blue. The Latin text is surrounded by elaborate iron engravings that include mythical creatures and scenes from the bible with French captions. Printed Book of Hours leaves are very scarce, as they were only produced between 1496 and 1530. The text includes part of the Alma Redmeptoris Mater, composed by Herman Contractus (1013-1054), which translates as:
O God, who, by the fruitful virginity of blessed Mary, hast bestowed upon mankind the reward of eternal salvation: grant, we beseech Thee, that we may experience her intercession, through whom we have been made worthy to receive the author of life, our Lord.
Light foxing with a small dampstain, a few tiny worm holes, and chips along the left edge.