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 strawberry – symbol of perfect righteousness, and 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). Saint’s names are listed followed by an abbreviation for ora pro nobis (pray for us). Among the saints listed are Saints Anthony, Anne, Agatha, Lucy, Katherine, Margaret and Barbara. The text continues with the section of “Ab”, “Per” and “Ut” (From, Through and That) followed by an abbreviation for “O Lord Deliver us” and “we beseech thee hear us”: “Ab omni malo…Per crucem, et passionem tuam…Ut nobis parcas…” (From all evil, O Lord deliver us…Through thy cross, and passion, O Lord deliver us…That thou spare us, we beseech thee hear us…).