Breviary Leaf - c 1475 - Beautifully illuminated letters


Original leaf from a medieval manuscript Breviary.  31 lines written in Latin in double columns with dark brown and red ink on animal vellum. (183 x 135mm – 7 3/8 x 5 ¼’’) 

Sixteen two-line illuminated initials alternating in red and white or blue and white, with a floral or geometric interior - all on a burnished gold ground, many extending into the margin with a delicate rinceaux border in red, blue, green, yellow burnished gold.  

France, c. 1475.

This leaf contains prayers celebrating the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, mostly written circa 1180 by Benedictine Bishop Peter Cellensis.

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

Presented in an archival 14 x 11'' mat

  • Inventory Number: IM-12481
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