c 1500 Book of Hours Leaf - The Crucifixion


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 blue and white with an internal floral design all on burnished gold ground; three two-line illuminated initials and three one-line illuminated initials in burnished gold on blue and red ground with white penwork.. One six-line miniature painting of The Crucifixion.   The text and miniature painting, recto, are surrounded by an intricate floral border in red, blue, green on a liquid gold ground.  The ¼ border, verso, is a colorful floral motif 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 miniature painting (recto) depicts Christ nailed to the cross. In addition to the blood from the nails and crown of thorns, blood also is shown spurting from a wound on Christ’ side caused by a man beneath him inserting a lance. 

The two-line illuminated “D” begins:  “Deus in adiutorium…” (Incline unto my aid O God. O Lord make haste to help me…).

The  two-line illuminated “H” begins “Hora nona…” (Jesus Lord at the ninth hour His spirit forth did send: Crying Eli and His soul to Father did commend: With a lance a soldier did pierce through His tender side: The earth then trembled and the sun His shining light did hide).  

Provenance:   ex-collection of Brooklyn Museum of Art, acquired in 1919.  Deaccessioned and sold to support the museum collection.

Shipped unmatted

  • Inventory# IM-13224