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 and strawberries (symbol of perfect righteousness) 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.
The miniature painting (recto) depicts St. Luke seated wearing a red robe with lavish amounts of gold. His attribute, the ox, sits patiently at his feet and the night sky with bright gold stars is evident in the background.. The miniature painting (verso) depicts St. Matthew seated before a lectern looking at an open book held by his attribute, an angel on his left, wearing a yellow and gold robe.
The illuminated “I” by the miniature of St Luke begins the Second Gospel Lesson (The Annunciation): Luke 1:26-38: “In illo…” (And at that time the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee called Nazareth…Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women…He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High…And of his kingdom there shall be no end…).
The illuminated “I” by the miniature of St. Matthew begins the Third Gospel Lesson (Adoration of the Magi): Matthew 2:1-2: “In illo…” (And at that time when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judah, in the days of king Herod, behold there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem…).