LOVELY ILLUMINATED MINIATURE FROM AN EARLY 16TH-CENTURY FRENCH BOOK OF HOURS DEPICTING CHRIST BEING PRESENTED IN THE TEMPLE
(ILLUMINATED LEAF). Illuminated Miniature featuring the Presentation in the Temple. Northern France, early 16th century. One vellum leaf, measuring 5-1/2 by 7-1/2 inches, silk matted and window framed, entre piece measures 11 by 14 inches. $10,500.
A lovely miniature from an early 16th-century Book of Hours from Northern France that features an image of Christ being presented in the Temple, handsomely framed.
This handsome and large leaf from a Book of Hours features an expressive miniature that beautifully conveys the drama in this moment in the life of the Virgin. Mary, dressed in somber gray covered by her customary blue cloak, kneels at the center of the scene, holding her son out in a gesture that is both offering and supplication to the priest Simeon. Her face displays the concern that would be expected in one who has just been told, in Simeon's prophesy, that a sword would pierce her soul—that is, that she will suffer along with her son as he does God's redemptive work. Simeon, in contrast, wears the gratified expression of one whose prayers to see the salvation of Israel have been fulfilled, as expressed in his canticle, the "Nunc dimittis" ("Now I can depart in peace.") A pretty, fashionably dressed young woman stands on the left holding a basket with two turtledoves brought as an offering (for those people not in a position to provide a lamb). Her green dress and crimson cloak mirror Simeon's vestments and the canopy above him, and, like the priest, she is wearing a striking hat. Everything is carefully detailed from the facial expressions to the folds of clothing to the decorative designs on the altar and dark gray walls. The scene is artfully composed and balanced, with a trio of somber blue and gray figures at center and vibrant red and green on either side, anxiety offset by faith and hope. With five lines of text, including one illuminated four-line initial "D" on a gold background and four one-line illuminated initials on red and blue backgrounds. The verso contains 23 lines of text.
Two trivial losses of paint to the priest's cloak, a faint stain to the lower margin. Beautifully framed.