"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.
Subject: Medieval Manuscripts
Period: 1450 (circa)
Color: Hand Color
5.4 x 7.4 inches
13.7 x 18.8 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.
Superb vellum leaf from a French Book of Hours. The text is in a bold gothic book hand with ten illuminated initials and five line fillers. Both sides include fine floral and vine panels painted in a multitude of colors and gold leaf. The text includes part of Psalm 131 and translates as:
As a child that is weaned is towards his mother, so reward in my soul.
Let Israel hope in the Lord, from henceforth now and for ever.