Original leaf from a printed & beautifully hand-illuminated Book of Hours. Ruled for twenty-six lines of Latin text, printed in black on animal vellum. (163 x 108mm – 6 3/8 x 4 1/4’’)
Initials illuminated by hand in gold, on grounds of blue and/or red with delicate gold penwork. Elaborate border on each side hand-painted with tempera colors in a floral motif with acanthus leaves on liquid gold ground. Two hand-painted miniatures of Saints Michael the Archangel and John the Baptist.
Printed and hand-painted with rich sumptuous colors in the workshop of Germain Hardouyn - printer and highly skilled illuminator. Paris, c. 1532.
In purpose and format, printed Books of Hours followed the older manuscript examples. The more luxurious were printed on vellum.
This leaf is from the section of Suffrages - prayers to saints who were considered the protectors, helpers and guardians of medieval people.
The miniature painting of St. Michael the Archangel (patron saint of warriors) depicts him carrying a gold sword in his right hand with a blue demon at his feet. The text begins: “Michael…” (Archangel Michael, commander of paradise, come to the aid of the people of God: and be thou willing to defend us from a hostile power and to lead us with thee into the company of the Lord…).
The miniature painting of St. John the Baptist (patron saint of builders & tailors) depicts him pointing to the Lamb of God. The text begins: “Inter natos…” (Among those born of woman none arose greater than John the Baptist. He was a man sent by God. Whose name was John…).