Catalog Archive
Auction 197, Lot 746

Superb Hand-Colored Image of the Holy Trinity

"[Book of Hours Leaf] De Sanctissima Trinitate", Anon.

Subject: Early Printing

Period: 1520 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

5.1 x 7.8 inches
13 x 19.8 cm
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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 superb hand-colored image illustrates the Holy Trinity with God, Jesus holding the cross, and the dove of the Holy Spirit emanating rays above them. The text below the image translates as: "Holy Trinity one God, have mercy upon us." The image is surrounded on two sides by a lovely hand-colored border of flowers. The verso of this vellum leaf includes initials that were hand painted in red, blue and burnished gold. The text on verso continues as:

Almighty and everlasting God, Thou hast given Thy servants in the confession of the true faith, to acknowledge the glory of the Eternal Trinity, and to adore the unity in the power of thy Majesty; grant, that by steadfastness in this faith we may ever be defended from all adversities.


Condition: B+

Light toning.

Estimate: $1,000 - $1,300

Sold for: $750

Closed on 4/24/2024