c 1513 Book of Hours Leaf - Pentecost - Dance of Death


Original leaf from a deluxe large printed Book of Hours.  Thirty lines of Latin text, printed in black on animal vellum. (227 x 148mm – 8 7/8 x 5 ¾’’)

Printed by Simon Vostre (1486-1520),                                           

France (Paris), c. 1513

The panels surrounding the text, recto, feature three vignettes which relate the medieval concept of the Dance of Death – highlighting life’s inescapable conclusion by showing Death escorting various people - The Old Woman, The Peddler, and The Amorous Maiden.

The text concludes the Hours of the Cross. Where the lead initial was to be painted is still blank.  The text begins “[C]onverte nos…” (Convert us O God our Savior…When as compline was come was laid in his tomb, Christ his body precious the hope of life to come…O Lord Jesus Christ the Son of the living God, set Thy passion, cross, and death between thy judgment and my soul…These hours canonical with devotion to Thee, and with godly intention O Christ we address…).

The full-page wood-cut on verso is by the  Master Jean Pichore.  It depicts The Pentecost and opens The Hours of the Holy Spirit. .  The Virgin Mary is seated center of the room surrounded by columns, with hands clasped in prayer, looking to her right with an opened book on her lap.  She is surrounded on both sides by gesticulating Apostles who are seated. The Holy Spirit in the form of a radiant dove descends from above.

Presented in an archival 14 x 11'' mat

  • Inventory# IM-12173
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