Book of Hours Leaf c 1518 - Canticle of Zachary


Original leaf from a printed & hand-illuminated Book of Hours.  Twenty-eight lines of ruled Latin text, printed in red & black on animal vellum.(178 x 115mm – 7 x 4 ½’’)

Three illuminated two-line initials and numerous illuminated one-line initials in gold alternating on a red-orange or deep blue ground.

Printed by Gilles Hardouyn & hand-painted in the workshop of Germain Hardouyn - brother of the printer & a highly skilled illuminator.  Paris (Use of Rome), c. 1518.

Noted for its DECORATIVE BORDERS - the paneled surrounds are historiated (containing identifiable scenes or figures) or inhabited formsincluding St. Margaret and the Dragon, John the Evangelist, and Sts. Peter and Paul..

The one-line illuminated “L” continues Psalm 150: 2-6: “Laudate…” (Praise ye him for his mighty acts: praise ye him according to the multitude of his greatness…).

The two-line illuminated “V” begins Canticle of Canticles (Song of Solomon) 6:8: “Viderunt…” (The daughters saw her, and declared her most blessed…). The two-line illuminated “O” begins the 6th century hymn:  “O Gloriosa Domina…” (O heaven’s glorious mistress, enthroned above the starry sky! Thou feedest with thy sacred breast thy own Creator, Lord most high…).

The two-line illuminated “B” begins the Canticle of Zachary – Luke 1: 68 – 79:  “Benedictus…” (Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; because he hath visited and wrought the redemption of his people: And hath raised up an horn of salvation to us, in the house of David his servant. As he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets, who are from the beginning: Salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all that hate us…). 

Presented in an archival 14x11'' mat

  • Inventory Number: IM-11465
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