FINELY DECORATED MANUSCRIPT VELLUM LEAF
Measurements: 15.7 cm - height, 10.6 cm – width
Description: A finely decorated vellum leaf from a Renaissance Book of Hours. It contains one single column of 22 lines, ruled in red, of written text in Latin. The text is a fine example of the popular Medieval and Renaissance gothic book-hand script, used extensively for French vernacular books, known as lettre bâtarde. The leaf is executed in red, white, green, yellow, pink, orange and blue tempera, and liquid gold on both sides. The verso contains one highly illuminated initial, highlighting the beginning of Psalm 69, Deus in Adiutorium Meum Intende. The initial, standing on a golden background, is further enriched by a beautiful decoration, comprising finely detailed carnation flowers. By placing at the beginning of every Hour the invocation of the Psalm, ‘Deus, in audiutorim meum intende’ followed by the response, ‘Domine, ad adiuvandum me festina’ (respectively, "O God, come to my assistance" and "O Lord, make haste to help me''), the Catholic Church implores the assistance of God against any distractions in prayer. The text is bordered to one side with an elegantly rendered column on gold ground, divided in eight sections. Each one displays an intricate flower and foliate decoration, depicting acanthus leaves, carnations, violets, lilies and iris flowers.
This extraordinary piece comes from the workshop of Jean Coene, also know as the Master of the Paris Entries, a prolific artist who was active in Paris for the French court under Louis XII and Francis I, and also collaborated with the workshop of the Master Jean Pichoire. Coene’s quick painting technique and careful finish of his miniatures led him to be one of the most successful artists of high-raking clientele in early sixteenth-century Paris.
Condition: Extremely fine.
Period: Northern France, circa 1510-1520