Original leaf from a manuscript Book of Hours. 13 lines red ruled Latin text, written with dark brown ink and gold in gothic liturgical book hand, on animal vellum. (195 x 145 mm - 7.8 x 5.8")
(For sister leaf see Blackburn Collection, Cleveland Museum of Art, pl. 49).
Northern France (Probably Paris), c. 1460.
Full illuminated borders of dense liquid gold with pink & blue acanthus sprays interspersed with ivy leaves having gold dots decorated with pen strokes, & with flowers, strawberries (symbol of perfect righteousness) and leaves executed in pink, red, blue, green, & gold with a tree bearing golden fruit in the lower margin!
Painted by an illuminator in the Circle of the Coëtivy Master.
One two-line initial inhabited with two portraits; 14 illuminated one-line initials in red, blue & gold, & ILLUMINATED ROUNDELS HISTORIATED WITH SCENES OF THE LIFE OF ST. ALEXIS. The book from which this leaf came was likely a commission for a specific person of high rank, since it was very specific & very costly.
The inhabited initial “T” begins the Te Deum (Canticle of Sts. Ambrose & Augustine): “Te Deum…” (O God, we praise Thee: we acknowledge Thee to be the Lord. Everlasting Father, all the earth doth worship Thee. To Thee all the Angels, the Heavens and all the Powers, all the Cherubim and Seraphim, unceasingly proclaim: Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts! Heaven and earth are full of the Majesty of Thy glory. The glorious choir of the Apostles, the wonderful company of Prophets, the white-robed army of Martyrs, praise Thee. Holy Church throughout the world doth acknowledge Thee: the Father of infinite Majesty...).
Presented in an archival 14x11'' mat