A Presentation in Temple - Simeon Prophesy - Book of Hours Leaf


Original leaf from a medieval manuscript Book of Hours on animal vellum. (169 x 122 mm - 6.8 x 4.9")  Recto ruled for 15 lines of text.

The border surrounding the miniature is composed of a colorful floral motif with strawberries (symbol of perfect righteousness), acanthus leaves and ivy in red, green, yellow, blue, pink and burnished gold.

Two whimsical creatures occupy each lower corner and are engaged in a battle with lances. Dashing upwards along the left border is a gray dog-like animal.       

Southern Netherlands, c. 1460-70.

The miniature painting depicts The Presentation in the Temple. The Virgin Mary holds the Christ Child towards Simeon who stands behind the altar with his hands open to receive the Child. An attendant stands behind him, while behind Mary stands a woman holding a dove-basket stands behind Mary.  

The artist’s linear style, in which facial features are enlarged and draperies fall into repetitive tubular folds, invites comparison with a body of manuscripts made probably in the diocese of Cambrai in the 1460’s or early 1470’s (See Sotheby’s, 13th June, 1983, lot 16). This miniature is meant to accompany the opening of the Hours of the Virgin – Hour of None.

The Presentation of Jesus at the Temple is described in the Gospel of Luke 2:22-40.  Forty days after the birth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph took the child to the Temple in Jerusalem (as tradition dictated).  Once there, they encountered Simeon the Righteous who prophesized that the infant would redeem the world. 

A very colorful medieval illumination with a distinctive Nederlandisch provincial style . Presented in an archival 14x11'' mat.


  • Inventory Number: IM-2938