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 (including a nd columbine – symbol of the Holy Spirit) with acanthus leaves on liquid gold ground.
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 continues the Litany of the Saints (first prescribed by Pope Gregory in 590 for a public thanksgiving following a plague that ravaged Rome). The two-line illuminated “E” begins the prayer “Exaudi…” (Hear graciously we beseech thee O Lord the prayers of thy supplicants, and pardon the sins of them that confess to thee…).
The two-line illuminated “I” begins” “Ineffabilem…” (Show with clemency O Lord thy unspeakable mercy unto us…).
The two-line illuminated “D” begins: “Deus qui…” (O God which through sin art offended and through penance pacified: mercifully respect the prayers of thy people…).
The two-line illuminated “O” begins: “Omnipotens…” (O almighty and eternal God, have mercy upon thy servant…).
The two-line illuminated “D” begins: “Deus a quo…” (O God, from whom are all holy desires, rightful counsels, and just works…).
The two-line illuminated “F” begins: “Fidelium…” (O God the creator, and redeemer of all the faithful…).
The two-line illuminated “A” begins: “Actiones…” (Prevent we beseech thee O Lord our actions by thy graces assisting…).
he two-line illuminated “O” begins: “Omnipotens…” (O Almighty and everlasting God, which hast power over the living as also over the dead, and hast mercy on all them…).