Presentation - Simeon's Prophesy c 1518 Book of Hours Leaf


Original leaf from a printed & beautifully hand-illuminated Book of Hours.  Twenty-eight lines of ruled Latin text, printed in red & black on animal vellum. (178 x 115mm – 7 x 4 ½’’) 

Initials illuminated by hand in gold, on grounds of blue or sepia with delicate gold penwork. The paneled surrounds are historiated or inhabited. Printed by Gilles Hardouyn & hand-painted with rich sumptuous colors in the workshop of Germain Hardouyn - brother of the printer & a highly skilled illuminator.  Paris (Use of Rome), c. 1518.

The full page illumination depicts the Presentation in the Temple. This story is described in the Gospel of Luke 2:22-40.  Forty days after the birth of Jesus, Mary & 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. 

The miniature painting depicts the haloed Christ Child in the arms of a haloed and mitered Simeon, having just been handed over to him by the elaborately haloed Virgin Mary wearing deep blue robes and kneeling on the green, tan and red tiled floor. The gold altar is covered with a white cloth. The haloed prophetess Anna (Luke 2:36-38) is wearing white robes; Simeon’s assistant is dressed in green robes. The haloed Joseph kneels with a basket of doves in left hand and lit taper in right hand.

The Three-line illuminated “D” opens the Hours of the Virgin – Hour of None:  “Deus…” (Incline unto my aid O God. O Lord make haste to help me…). 

Presented in an archival 14x11'' mat

  • Inventory Number: IM-11472
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