c 1490-1510 Book of Hours Leaf - The Flight into Egypt


Original leaf from a manuscript Book of Hours. 25 lines of text (recto), ruled in red, written in Latin in angular gothic book-hand script on animal vellum.  (160 x 115mm – 6 ¼ x 4 ½’’) 

One four-line and one two-line illuminated initials in blue and white on a gold ground with floral infill; One two-line illuminated initial in gold on blue ground; nine one-line illuminated initials and four illuminated line-extenders in gold on a red or blue ground.  Elaborate panel border (recto) in colorful floral and gemstone motif on rich sable ground.

France: Rouen (Use of Rouen)  c. 1490-1510.

The exceptionally fine full-page illuminated painting depicts the Flight into Egypt. Style and execution are  closely related to the Master of the Geneva Latini (see Walter 224 & 233 for examples), and similar to miniatures in the Book of Hours, Bodleian Library MS Buchanan e3, likely painted by the same artist - notable for beautifully modelled faces and eyes.

The full page miniature painting opens the Hour of Vespers and depicts The Flight into Egypt with Mary in blue robes holding the swaddled Christ Child in a close embrace while sitting on a donkey as they journey down a road.  Joseph, wearing a blue capuchin and coral and gray robes, walks ahead holding reins in left hand and a white bundle on a gold staff over his shoulder. He glances back to the Miracle of the Cornfield (after the Holy Family encountered a farmer sowing wheat, the grain sprouted miraculously. When soldiers asked if he had seen the Holy Family he responded truthfully that they passed when he was sowing grain and soldiers assumed it must have been months earlier). Hillscape with towns seen in background beyond cornfield. The miniature painting is framed with two elaborate columns in blue and gold on the sides.

The four-line illuminated “D” (verso) begins: “Deus…” (Incline unto my aid O God…)       

Presented in an archival 14 x 11'' mat                                            

  • Inventory# IM-11818
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