c 1470 Book of Hours Leaf - Garden of Gethsemane


Original leaf from a medieval manuscript Book of Hours. 16 lines of red-ruled Latin text, written with dark brown ink in gothic script on animal vellum. (179 x 127 mm - 7.2 x 5.1").

One two-line illuminated initial in blue & white on burnished gold ground with floral infill; one one-line illuminated initial & two illuminated line extenders in liquid gold, on blue or sepia ground.

Elaborate panel borders contain a highly decorative floral design berries (including strawberries – symbol of perfect righteousness) & acanthus leaves in blue, red, green, pink, burnished and brushed gold.

Western France (Poitou?), c. 1470. 

Provenance: From a Book of Hours presented by Count Claude de Fonseque to his sister Countess Helene de Fonseque de Segueres.  Formerly in the collection of Allen Rowland – on deposit at the Beinecke Library, Yale.

The miniature painting depicts The Garden of Gethsemane. Christ is shown receiving the Kiss of Betrayal from Judas. On Christ’s right is Peter, holding the sword by which he chopped off the ear of the soldier seen on bended knee.  Christ’s arm is outstretched as he prepares to heal the soldier. Behind them are the soldiers prepared to take Christ on his prophesied journey.  The faces are beautifully detailed and exquisitely painted.

The two-line illuminated ''O'' begins a prayer to God, who granted additional years to King Hezekiah (2 Kings, 20:6). The prayer then requests time in which to repent and to be absolved of sins. The rubrics beneath the miniature note the beginning of the Passions of Christ our Lord according to John.

Presented in an archival 14 x 11'' mat

  • Inventory# IM-4865