Annunciation to Shepherds - Book of Hours Leaf c 1518

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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 Annunciation to the Shepherds

The scene is set in the countryside by a stream with five shepherds kneeling, sitting and standing – some with hands raised, one clasped in prayer. They look upward at the radiant angel with blue and red wings, wearing a golden robe and holding a white banner. The four shepherds in the foreground appear startled – their large flock of sheep in the background beyond which sits the fifth shepherd on a hill with a young lamb in his lap looking up towards the angel.

The three-line illuminated “D” opens the Hours of the Virgin – Hour of Terce:  “Deus…” (Incline unto my aid O God. O Lord make haste to help me…). 

Presented in an archival 14x11'' mat

  • Inventory Number: IM-11469
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