A Breviary Leaf - c 1475 - Homily by Pope Gregory


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’’) 

Original hole in outer margin occurred when the vellum was originally stretched - cleverly illuminated around it !

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

France, c. 1475.

The two-line illuminated “I” begins Luke 18:31:  “In illo tempore…” (At that time, Jesus, taking the twelve, said to them, Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written of the Son of man by the prophets will be accomplished).

The two-line illuminated “R” begins a Homily by Pope Gregory: “Redemptor…” (Our Redeemer, foreseeing that the disciples would be greatly upset by his passion, told them well beforehand both of the pain of his suffering and of the glory of his resurrection. Thus, seeing him die, as he had predicted, they would have no doubt of his resurrection, but since the disciples were still looking at things from a human point of view, and were in no way capable of grasping the words of the mystery, a miracle was provided. Before their eyes a blind man received the light. In this way, those who would not assent to news of the heavenly mystery would be strengthened in faith by heavenly deeds).

The two-line illuminated “P” begins:  “Preces nostras…” (Mercifully hear our prayers, we beseech you, Lord; and as we are freed from the bonds of sin, keep us from every evil).

Presented in an archival 14 x 11'' mat

  • Inventory Number: IM-12098
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