"GENTLE LADY OF MERCY, MOTHER OF PITY": EXTRAORDINARY ILLUMINATED LEAF FROM A LATE 15TH-CENTURY FRENCH BOOK OF HOURS, FEATURING A BEAUTIFUL HAND-COLORED MINIATURE OF THE PIETA
(ILLUMINATED LEAF). Illuminated Leaf from a Book of Hours. Rouen, France, circa 1470. Single vellum leaf (4-3/4 by 6-1/4 inches), illuminated in gold, black, white, gray, red, pink, green, blue, and brown inks; silk matted and framed, entire piece measures 10-1/2 by 13 inches.
Beautiful illuminated leaf from a French Book of Hours, featuring a poignant miniature of the Pieta, three lines of an Old French prayer, stunning borders, and an elaborate three-line initial.
This beautiful illuminated leaf is from a Book of Hours from Rouen, France, circa 1470. It comprises three lines from the beginning of the the prayer, "Doulce dame," elaborate borders, and an intricate arched miniature of the Pieta. The Pieta miniature shows Mary, cradling the crucified Jesus in front of the cross, flanked by Mary, mother of James, and Mary Magdalene. Just behind the women kneels an archangel (traditionally the Archangel Chamuel). In the background, the city of Jerusalem is visible. The recto also has three lines of Old French Gothic text in script as well as a large three-line "D" in blue and white filigree on a gold ground embellished with leaves, sprays, and three blackberries. The border, while featuring the traditional, leaves, sprays, and acanthus leaves, is uniquely decorated with large gold hearts in which leaves, poppies, and berries have been added. The verso features 13 lines of similar script with a few red and gold touches; one two-line initial rendered in a blue and white pattern on a gilt ground embellished with berries and leaves; five one-line initials rendered in gilt on filigreed red and blue grounds; six line extenders in the same style; and a lovely border composed of berries, leaves, sprays, and acanthus leaves.