c 1475 Book of Hours Leaf - The Pentecost


Original leaf from an illuminated manuscript Book of Hours. 19 lines of text, ruled in red, written in Latin on animal vellum. (150 x 110mm – 5 7/8 x 4 3/8’’) 

One four-line illuminated initial and three two-line illuminated initials in red and white with a floral interior on a liquid gold ground; four one-line illuminated initials in liquid gold on red or blue ground.

The miniature is surrounded by a dense floral border with strawberries (symbol of perfect righteousness) and columbines (symbol of the Holy Spirit), in rich colors and liquid gold.       France (probably Paris), c. 1475.

The beautiful miniature painting depicts the Virgin Mary holding a book with gilded edges; Saints Peter and Paul kneel in prayer behind her. The youthful appearing Saint John the Evangelist kneels in front of the Virgin Mary. The Holy Spirit, in the form of a white dove with golden rays and emanating red flames hovers above.  Partial heads and halos of other Apostles fill the background. The faces are particularly well painted.

The painting opens Hours of the Holy Spirit – Hour of Matins: “Domine labia…” (Thou O Lord wilt open my lips…).  Recto concludes The Hours of the Cross.

The two-line illuminated “D” begins: “De cruce…” (At the hour of eventide Christ from his cross was taken, In whose soul his fortitude did covertly remain…).

The two-line illuminated “H” begins: “Hora completorii…” (When as compline was come was laid in his tomb, Christ his body precious the hope of life to come…).

The next two-line illuminated “H” begins: “Has hora…” (These hours canonical with devotion to thee, and with godly intention O Christ we address…). 

Presented in an archival 14 x 11'' mat

  • Inventory# IM-12462