"[Book of Hours Leaf]", Anon.
Subject: Early Printing
Period: 1550 (circa)
Color: Hand Color
4.3 x 5.9 inches
10.9 x 15 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.
This sheet from an Italian prayer book is printed in black and red ink, surrounded by engraved scenes from the bible. The text is in Latin and includes part of Psalms 129-130, which translates in part as:
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.
Light soiling at bottom right where the page was turned.