"[Illuminated Leaf]", Hardouin, Gilles
Subject: Early Printing
Period: 1500 (circa)
Publication: Book of Hours
5 x 7.6 inches
12.7 x 19.3 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 is a superb example from the transitional period when the new technology of printing with movable type was combined with the more labor intensive methods of hand painting. This leaf includes crisply printed text in black ink and colorful panels of leaves and flowers drawn by hand in the margins. The text is interspersed with numerous illuminated initials in red, blue and gold. The text is from the Office of the Dead; the psalms and prayers for relatives and friends who were suffering in purgatory.
Slight browning at outside edge.