c 1532 Book of Hours Leaf - David and Bathsheba


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’’). Two small worm holes bottom edge of miniature - easier to see on the text side where under the two-line illuminated "C" and at the end of the same line.

Initials illuminated by hand in gold, on grounds of blue and/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.

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. 

The large miniature painting, (recto) framed within gold architectural columns, dramatically depicts a miniature painting of David and Bathsheba.  Bathsheba is seen standing thigh deep in a pool looking back at King David leaning out of an arched window of a tower with his right hand pointing towards her. A messenger is seen running towards her to relay that she is beckoned by the king. A female attendant is seen in foreground.

The three-line illuminated “D” begins the First Penitential Psalm - Psalm 6: 1-3: “Domine ne in furore…” (O Lord, rebuke me not in thy indignation, nor chastise me in thy wrath Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am weak: heal me, O Lord for my bones are troubled…).

Presented in an archival 14 x 11'' mat

  • Inventory# IM-13018
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