c 1420 Book of Hours Leaf - King David - Important Workshop


Original leaf from a medieval manuscript Book of Hours. Ruled in red for 15 lines, and written in Latin with dark brown ink on animal vellum. (195 x 138 mm – 7 5/8 x 5 ½’’) 

Workshop of the Guise Master,  Northern France, c. 1420-25.

For sister leaf, see Blackburn Collection, Cleveland Museum of Art, pl 28, pictured. Another leaf from the same manuscript is pictured in Boston Univ, Manuscripts Sacred and Secular (1985), figure 24. See Manuscripts in the Walters Art Gallery, #97   for associated examples

 Provenance: Ex Otto Ege Collection (Gwara Handlist 136).

One elaborate four-line initial in blue with white tracery on a red ground with white tracery, having an internal floral motif in blue, orange white & burnished gold; five one-line illuminated initials in gold on blue & red ground with white tracery. An arched frame in burnished gold, scalloped at the top, immediately surrounds the miniature; then a U-bar decoration surrounds the miniature painting filled with a floral motif on burnished gold on two sides with the third side in sections of blue & pink separated by burnished gold. Panel border decoration of rinceaux with a floral motif & burnished gold ivy leaves.

MINIATURE PAINTING OF DAVID IN PRAYER: King David is shown kneeling on the grass surrounded by hills and trees with a medieval city in the background. His attribute the harp rests on the ground. God the Father, with white beard and hair, is seen reaching downward from heaven blessing David with his right hand while holding an orb in his right.  This painting reflects the influence of the Guise Master (named for his work on the Hours for Francois of Guise in 1412). "The artist was known for his luminescent skies and hilly, Tolkienesque landscapes" (Blackburn), and his figures are reflective of the Boucicault Master.

This leaf begins the Seven Penitential Psalms. The four-line illuminated “D” begins Psalm 6: 1-7: “Domine…” (O Lord, rebuke me not in thy indignation, nor chastise me in thy wrath…).    

An attractive leaf from a large and sumptuous manuscript, nicely preserved with minor flaking to the lower area of David's robe.

Presented in an archival 14 x 11'' mat

  • Inventory# IM-12151