Breviary Leaf - c 1280 - Conversion of Paul - whimsical creature


Original leaf from a medieval Breviary.  21 lines of ruled Latin text, written in gothic liturgical bookhand script on animal vellum.(139 x 99mm – 5 ½ x 3 7/8’’) 

One four-line illuminated initial in blue and white with an interior of burnished gold and orange on a red ground and extending downward and along the bottom of the text in bars of blue, red and white ending with a floral spray in orange and white;  one four-line and two two-line initials alternating in deep blue surrounded by delicate red penwork and red surrounded with delicate blue penwork;  a wonderful whimsical creature prances along the top of the leaf in blue penwork with a red ball in its mouth. Some wear and a bit of loss evident in the three-line initial.                                         

Northern France or French Flanders, c. 1280-1300.

The leaf continues the section devoted to St Vincent of Saragossa: “Egregius…” (When God’s illustrious martyr, Vincent, had eagerly overcome for Christ the severe pains of torture, and when with constancy he had completed his struggle in the glorious fight, at length, being released by a precious death, triumphantly he gave back his spirit to heaven). 

The illuminated “S” begins the section devoted to the Conversion of Paul – from Acts 9: “Saule…” (Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? Who are you, Lord? I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. It hurts you to kick against the goad. But, trembling and astonished, Saul said to Jesus: Lord, what do you wish me to do? And the Lord said to him: Rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do. Go, Ananias and inquire for Saul; for behold, he is praying; for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel…).

The four-line illuminated “P” begins:  “Paulus…” (Paul still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and petitioned him that if he found anywhere men belonging to the Way, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem…). 

Presented in an archival 14 x 11'' mat

  • Inventory Number: IM-11688