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 or red with delicate gold penwork. Elaborate border (verso) hand-painted with tempera colors in a floral motif with acanthus leaves on liquid gold ground. One elaborate Illuminated miniature.
Printed and hand-painted with rich sumptuous colors in the workshop of Germain Hardouyn - printer and highly skilled illuminator.
Paris, c. 1532.
The oval miniature painting (verso) depicts St. Mark wearing red robes with lush gold seated before a lectern, pen poised above open book with gilt edges as he writes his Gospel. His attribute, a lion, is seated at his side. The night sky with bright gold stars is evident in the background.
The text, recto, continues the Third Gospel Lesson (Three Wise Men) – Matthew 2:2-12: “ Vidimus…” (For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to adore him…Go and diligently inquire after the child, and when you have found him, bring me word again, that I also may come and adore him…and behold the star which they had seen in the east, went before them, until it came and stood over where the child was…).
The illuminated “I” by the miniature of St Mark, verso, begins the Fourth Gospel Lesson (Last Supper): Mark 16: 14-10: “In illo…” (And at that time he appeared to the eleven as they were at table: and he upbraided them with their incredulity and hardness of heart…Go ye into the whole world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be condemned…In my name they shall cast out devils: they shall speak with new tongues…).