Alexis - c 1460 Book of Hours Leaf - Circle of Coetivy Master


Original leaf from a medieval manuscript Book of Hours. 13 lines of text, ruled in red, written in Latin with dark brown ink and gold in gothic liturgical book hand, on animal vellum. (195x145mm 7 ¾ x 5 ¾’’) 

Northern France (Probably Paris), c. 1460.

Full illuminated borders of dense liquid gold with pink & blue acanthus sprays interspersed with ivy leaves having gold dots decorated with pen strokes, & with floral design (including strawberries – symbol of perfect righteousness) in pink, red, blue, green, burnished and brushed gold – with a bird resting on a branch in the upper margin.  

Illuminated roundels are historiated with scenes pertaining to the life of St. Alexis.  Painted by an illuminator in the Circle of the Coëtivy Master. Two-line inhabited initial on a gold ground. (For a sister leaf see Blackburn Collection, Cleveland Museum of Art, pl. 49).

The nine lessons from Job contain moving readings from Job detailing the trials he endured in his struggle for God’s blessings. The inhabited two-line initial begins Lesson IX for the Hour of Matins – Job 10:18-22: “Quare de vulva…” (Why didst thou bring me forth…).

Historiated roundels: Highly unusual to contain painted roundels of the life of St. Alexis (5th cent. Saint - patron of the sick) - The book from which this leaf came was likely a commission for a person of high rank, since it was very specific and very costly.

Presented in an archival 14x11'' mat.


  • Inventory Number: IM-4094