Medieval Breviary Leaf - Sermon & Study on Luke


Original leaf from a medieval manuscript Breviary. 32 lines, double column, written in Latin with dark brown & red ink in fine gothic book hand on animal vellum. (115 x 95mm - 4.6 x 3.8").

Six two-line illuminated initials alternating in red and deep blue. Rubrics are in red.                       

Northern France or Flanders, c. 1450-75.

This leaf continues Sermon 104: The Treatise on Martha and Mary - Two Lives by St. Augustine of Hippo. 

The two-line illuminated ''E'' begins the study of Luke 10:41-42:   ''Ecce adverte irca multa es occupata quando unum est necessarium...'' (Here turn. You are worried about many things, when one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the better part. You have not chosen bad part, but she has chosen a better one. And why is it better? For you regard many things, she one. One is preferred to many. For one does not come from many, but from the many, one…).

A Breviary is composed of many books (prayers, hymns, psalms...) painstakingly but carefully written by hand, & used by monks & priests to conduct daily services.  The painted & illuminated manuscript is among the greatest artistic triumphs of the Middle Ages, demonstrating social, intellectual, religious and cultural attitudes of medieval life.

Shipped in archival 14x11'' mat.

  • Inventory Number: IM-10850