c 1500 Book of Hours Leaf - The Deposition


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 initial and one line extender in burnished gold on blue and red ground with white penwork.. One six-line miniature painting of The Deposition.   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 being removed from the cross - His bloody wounds evident. Nicodemus, standing on a ladder, hands Christ's body to Joseph of Arimathea.

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

The  two-line illuminated “D” begins “De cruce…” (At the hour of eventide Christ from His cross was ta'en, In whose soul His fortitude did covertly remain. Such a death vouchsafed to take of life the medicine sound: Glory's crown alas the while lay groveling on the ground).  

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

Shipped unmatted

  • Inventory# IM-13234