An exceptional Book of Hours Leaf - c 1480 - St Mark


Original leaf from a medieval manuscript Book of Hours. 18 lines of text, ruled in red, written in Latin with dark brown ink in gothic script on animal vellum. (182 x 128mm – 7 1/8 x 5’’) 

The exceptional panel border contains an intricate floral design – in a geometric pattern – with flowers & berries in brushed gold, red, green & blue. One illuminated three-line initial in blue on burnished gold with a floral pattern in blue & red.                                           

 France (probably Paris) c. 1480.

The historiated miniature painting depicts St. Mark with his attribute, the Lion – with dramatic red wings!  Mark inspects a penknife in his right hand; the inscribed scroll rests across his raised right knee.  One book is seen on the floor in front of him while three more are on the shelf at the back wall.  .

Produced in the Workshop of the Master of Jacques de Besançon – one of the pivotal artists in Paris. As the successor of the famous Maitre François, whose workshop he continued, he served many aristocratic persons and even rulers of his time in France and England. His work follows the traditional principles of illuminating, highly influenced by the “modern” standards of three dimensionality, Renaissance architecture, and fashion and Flemish borders. By continuing his predecessor’s concepts, he created a superb and vast oeuvre of embellished illumination.

This leaf begins the Gospel of Mark: 16:14-18 “ In illo Tempore…” (At that time, Jesus appeared to the eleven disciples as they sat at the table…He said to them: Go ye into the whole world, & preach the gospel to every creature…).

Presented in an archival 14 x 11'' mat

  • Inventory Number: IM-12724