c 1480 Book of Hours Leaf - The Pentecost


Original leaf from a Book of Hours. Red-ruled for 18 lines of Latin text, written with dark brown ink in gothic liturgical book-hand on animal vellum.(173 x 130mm – 6 ¾ x 5 1/8’’) 

One three-line initial in blue with white penwork & pink interior on burnished gold ground; border (recto) rinceaux style with blue acanthus, red flowers and strawberries; border (verso) surrounding miniature in trompe l’oeil with silver-grey acanthus, flowers, strawberries and snails (one white, one brown)  on a deep blue ground. 

 Flanders (probably Bruges), c. 1480.

Miniature of The Pentecost: The Blessed Virgin Mary, seated and wearing deep blue robes, and Apostles (all with gold halos) are shown gathered within the gold columns in Solomon’s Portico (Acts 5:12). Above the columns are three vignettes painted in gold depicting scenes the reign of Solomon. Two Apostles kneel on either side of Mary with hands clasped, while ten are shown standing behind her.  Three arched windows seen in the background. The text, recto, concludes the Hours of the Cross.

Provenance:  Probably painted in Bruges, circa 1480’s, on the basis of comparison with borders in related manuscripts, especially Paris, Biblioteque Nationale, MS fr. 192, made for Louis of Bruges, and London British Library, Royal MS 15 E III, dated 1482, both discussed and illustrated in Durrieu, La Miniature flamande, pls. LXIII, LXIV.

Reference: A sister leaf (Opening the Hours of the Virgin at Nones) is pictured and described by Dr. Sandra Hindman in Ferrini. "Important Western Medieval Manuscripts",  1987, Catalog Nr.101.

Presented in an archival 14 x 11'' mat

  • Inventory# IM-12155