Original leaf from a French medieval illuminated manuscript Book of Hours. 13 lines of hand-ruled text written in Latin with dark brown ink in fine lettre bâtarde script on animal vellum with rubrics in red. One two-line illuminated initial in burnished gold on a red and blue ground; ¼ border (recto) in a colorful floral design on liquid gold ground.
Origin: Paris, France circa 1500.
Size: 110 x 75mm – 4.25 x 2.9 inches, from a diminutive manuscript likely written for a lady.
The two-line illuminated “P” begins Lesson I – Job 7:16-21 (The nine lessons from Job contain moving readings from Job detailing the trials he endured in his struggle for God’s blessings): “Parce…” (Spare me, for my days are nothing. What is a man that thou shouldst magnify him? Or why dost thou set thy heart upon him? Thou visitest him early in the morning, and thou provest him suddenly. How long wilt thou not spare me, nor suffer me to swallow down my spittle? I have sinned: what shall I do to thee, O keeper of men? Why hast thou set me opposite to thee, and I am become burdensome to myself? Why dost thou not remove my sin, and why dost thou not take away my iniquity? Behold now I shall sleep in the dust…).
Provenance: ex-collection of Brooklyn Museum of Art, acquired in 1919. Deaccessioned and sold to support the museum collection.