Medieval Breviary Leaf - Joseph's coat of many colors


Original leaf from a medieval manuscript Breviary.  33 lines written in Latin in double columns with dark brown and red ink on animal vellum. (204 x 150mm - 8.2 x 6") 

One exceptional multi-line illuminated initial extending along the length of the margin, and eleven three-line or four-line illuminated initials alternating in dark blue with delicate red penwork and red with delicate blue penwork – all extending into the margins.  

France, c. 1300-25.

The elaborate illuminated ''I'' begins the story of Joseph’s coat of many colors – Genesis 37:2-4: ''Ioseph cum…'' (Joseph, when he was sixteen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren, being but a boy: and he was with the sons of Bala and of Zelpha his father’s wives: and he accused his brethren to his father of a most wicked crime. Now Israel loved Joseph above all his sons, because he had him in his old age: and he made him a coat of divers colors....).

The illuminated ''A'' continues Genesis 37:5-8: ''Accidit…'' (Now it fell out also that he told his brethren a dream, that he had dreamed…I thought we were binding sheaves in the field: and my sheaf arose as it were, & stood, and your sheaves standing about , bowed down before my sheaf…).

The next illuminated ''A'' continues Genesis 37:9 – 13: ''Aliud…'' He dreamed also another dream, which he told his brethren, saying: I say in a dream, a it were the sun, and the moon, and eleven stars worshipping me…).

A Breviary is composed of many books (prayers, hymns, psalms...) painstakingly but carefully written by hand, and used by monks and priests to conduct their daily services. 

Shipped in archival 14x11'' mat.

  • Inventory# IM-8318
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