"INCLINE UNTO MY AID O GOD": WONDERFUL LARGE ILLUMINATED LEAF FROM A LATE 15TH-CENTURY FRENCH BOOK OF HOURS, FEATURING A BEAUTIFUL HAND-COLORED IMAGE OF THE ANNUNCIATION TO THE SHEPHERDS
(ILLUMINATED LEAF). Illuminated Leaf from a Book of Hours. Northern France, circa 1470. Single vellum leaf (6 by 8 inches), illuminated in gold, black, white, gray, red, pink, green, blue, yellow, and brown inks. Beautifully silk matted and window framed, entire piece measures 14-1/2 by 11-1/2 inches.
Beautiful illuminated miniature from a Northern French Book of Hours, a striking hand-colored image depicting the Annunciation to the Shepherds, with three lines of Latin text from the Hour of Terce in batarde script, a three-line initial and a one-line initial, beautifully bordered with two grotesques, flowers, leaves, and acanthus leaves.
This beautiful illuminated miniature is from a Book of Hours from late 15th-century Northern France. The Latin batarde text is from the Hour of Terce. The large miniature depicts the Annunciation to the Shepherds. The intricate leaf—unusually busy and animated—features four shepherds, a woman holding a sheep (a proxy for the Virgin), and a dog, with sheep grazing in the foreground and midground. The background combines a nature scene with a walled city in the distance. In the sky, two angels holds a banner reading, "Gloria in excelsis deo." The scene has a simple gilt border and is framed on three sides by an elaborate border with a gilt ground, bright leaves, flowers, and acanthus leaves, as well as two dragon-like grotesques. The recto has four lines of batarde text as well as a large three-line floriated "D" in white against a gold ground. There is also a single-line "D" initial in gilt on a red and gold filigree ground. The verso features 23 lines of similar script, two two-line filigree initials on a gilt ground (a smaller version of that on the recto), ten gilt initials on red and blue grounds, and seven line extenders in the same style. The size and quality of this leaf indicate that the original Book of Hours was clearly illuminated at an accomplished atelier and would have been quite expensive.
A couple tiny spots of rubbing. Fine condition.