A Book of Hours Leaf -Visitation Miniature - Elaborate Border


Original leaf from a manuscript Book of Hours. 15 lines of red ruled text written in Latin on animal vellum in brown ink with rubrics in red. (184 x 125mm – 7 ¼ x 4 7/8’’) 

One four-line historiated initial in blue, red & white with an internal painting on burnished gold,  one two-line initial, seven one-line illuminated initials & twelve illuminated line-extenders in burnished gold on red & blue ground with delicate white penwork.

France (Anjou), Use of Angers, c. 1450-75.

The elaborate full border (recto) is a dense floral motif in red, blue pink, green, liquid & burnished gold, with an ape sitting on a branch looking at the internal painting. Along the bottom a man with a staff baits a bear.  The panel border (verso) contain a highly decorative floral design with flowers, berries, & acanthus leaves in blue, red, green, pink, & burnished gold.  

The historiated initial depicts The Visitation where the pregnant Virgin Mary, wearing blue and mauve robes, greets her older cousin, Elizabeth, wearing red robes, who is soon to give birth to John the Baptist.  In the background are hills and trees (the hill country described in Luke).

The historiated “D” opens the Hour of Lauds: “Deus…” (Incline unto my aid O God….).

The two-line illuminated “D” begins Psalm 92 (King James 93) 1-4: “Dominus…” (The Lord hath reigned, he is clothed with beauty: the Lord is clothed with strength…).

Angers was the cradle of the Plantagenet dynasty and one of the intellectual centers of Europe during the reign of Rene of Anjou, (1434-80). When this leaf was scribed the two branches of the Plantagenet dynasty, House of Lancaster & House of York, were engaged in the War of the Roses.

Presented in an archival 14 x 11'' mat

  • Inventory Number: IM-12517