"THOU O LORD WILT OPEN MY LIPS": LARGE ILLUMINATED LEAF FROM AN EARLY 15TH-CENTURY FRENCH BOOK OF HOURS, FEATURING STRIKING HAND-COLORED IMAGE OF THE ANNUNCIATION
(ILLUMINATED LEAF). Illuminated Leaf from a Book of Hours. Paris, France, circa 1410. Single vellum leaf (5 by 7 inches), illuminated in gold, black, white, gray, red, pink, green, and blue inks; matted and window framed, measures 13-1/2 by 11 inches.
Lovely illuminated miniature from a French Book of Hours, a large, hand-colored image depicting the Annunciation, with four lines of Latin text from the Hours of the Virgin in Gothic script and a three-line initial, a one-line initial, and two line extenders beneath the image, beautifully bordered with an angel holding a coat of arms, gold leaves, flowers, and strawberries.
This beautiful illuminated miniature is from a Book of Hours from early 15th-century Paris. The Latin Gothic text is from the Hours of the Virgin. The large miniature depicts the Annunciation, delicately rendered. This arch-topped miniature of the Annunciation depicts Gabriel kneeling before the Virgin Mary in a richly appointed room. Here, Mary is robed in rich blue adorned with a single gold star. She stands by a prie-dieu with a book open on it. Gabriel, in pink and white, kneels before her, his white and scarlet wings spread wide. Between them is a vase of lilies, the Virgin Mary's traditional attribute. The artist has created depth in the room with the angle of the wall and decoration of the wall hangings, as well as with the vaulted ceiling. This sense of perspective of enhanced through the arch-topped windows of a nearly building. This depiction of architectural detail is unusual in leaves of this era. The image is double-bordered. The first border contains red and blue acanthus leaves on a burnished gilt ground. A surrounding full border contains black hairline stems bearing gilt leaves, flower buds, and strawberries. Also in the border is a a green-winged angel holding a coat of arms (possibly an indication that this was a wedding gift). The recto has four lines of Gothic text as well as a large, three-line "D" in blue and white filigree with an enclosed red and blue design, all against a burnished gold ground. There is also a single-line "E" initial in gilt on a red, blue, and white ground. The verso features 15 lines of similar script, two two-line initials executed very elaborately in a similar style to the one on the recto, four one-line initials, and four line-extenders.
Light soiling primarily to recto. A near-fine copy.