"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.
Subject: Medieval Manuscripts
Period: 1450 (circa)
Color: Hand Color
4.4 x 6.3 inches
11.2 x 16 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 nice vellum manuscript written in black ink with one large initial and numerous small initials in red and blue ink with burnished gold leaf. The text includes part of Psalm 97, and beginning with the initial "D" at top on recto, translates as:
The Lord hath reigned, let the earth rejoice: let many islands be glad.
Clouds and darkness are round about him: justice and judgment are the establishment of his throne.
A fire shall go before him, and shall burn his enemies round about.
His lightnings have shone forth to the world: the earth saw and trembled.
The mountains melted like wax, at the presence of the Lord: at the presence of the Lord of all the earth.
The heavens declared his justice: and all people saw his glory.
Light toning and soiling.