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 with acanthus leaves on liquid gold ground. Two hand-painted miniatures of Saints Mary Magdalene and Katherine.
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 is from the section of Suffrages - prayers to saints who were considered the protectors, helpers and guardians of medieval people.
The miniature painting (recto) of St. Mary Magdalene depicts her holding an ointment jar in left hand and right hand on book resting on her lap. The text reads: “Maria ergo…” (Therefore Mary poured oil on the feet of Jesus and wiped them with her hair, and the house was filled with the scent of the oil…).
The miniature painting (verso) of St. Katherine depicts her seated with a sword in her right hand and her left hand on a book resting on her lap. The text reads: “Virgo sancta…” (The virgin St. Katherine, jewel of Greece, was the daughter of King Costus in the city of Alexandria…).