"[Illuminated Leaf]", Hardouin, Gilles
Subject: Early Printing
Period: 1520 (circa)
Publication: Book of Hours
4 x 6.4 inches
10.2 x 16.3 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.
A very fine incunabula leaf, printed on paper in Hardouyn's unique style. The verso contains a full-page printed illustration of the Presentation in the Temple. Before the table are Mary on her knees and Joseph with a basket with three turtledoves, the offering for a male child. The priest behind the table is shown holding the Christ Child in his arms. The illustration is surrounded in an architectural border with Latin text below (God, come to my assistance. Lord, hasten to help me). The recto contains a panel of three pictures of Jesus before Pilate who washes his hands and declares himself innocent of His blood ( Matthew 27). The rubrics are printed in red.
Minor toning of paper edges.