IM-10390: (105 x 73mm) Original leaf from a manuscript Book of Hours, showing the influence of Simon Bening. 15 lines of text, written in lettre batarde script in Latin with dark brown ink and blue ink (highly unusual) on animal vellum. One two-line illuminated initial in gold on red ground. The text is surrounded with an exceptional inhabited trompe l’oeil floral border containing strawberries (symbol of perfect righteousness), butterflies & caterpillars. In fine condition, except for a closed tear in the lower left corner. Netherlands, c. 1500.
The text concludes the Gospel Lesson from Matthew 2: 8-12: "Inveneritis..." (When you have found him, bring me word again, that I also may come and adore him...Seeing the star they rejoiced with exceeding great joy...).
The miniature painting notes the beginning of the Gospel Lesson from Mark.
St Mark is realistically painted in harmonious muted tones. He is shown in his study, writing his Gospels - seated before a desk, the angle of which creates a convincing recession into a shallow space. Mark, deep in thought, looks at the page in front of him as he writes the story of the life of Christ. The winged lion resting next to Mark is his symbol, referring to Mark's depiction of Christ as the King of Kings. Although the artist displays a similar interest in the accurate depiction of natural forms in the border, there he used bright, vivid colors that effectively contrast with the subdued, muted tones of the miniature.