Original leaf from a manuscript Book of Hours. 22 lines of text, ruled in red, written in Latin in gothic book-hand script on animal vellum (160x103mm). Rubrics in red & line ending in red with liquid gold infill.
Three illuminated two-line initials alternating in white on gold ground and gold on blue ground.
Northern France, c. 1510-20.
Elaborate geometric panel borders with acanthus & floral motifs partially on gold ground.
Nine-line miniature painting of St. Margaret of Antioch: A haloed St. Margaret is shown emerging from the belly of a winged dragon who has been transfixed by the long cross held in her right hand. Joan of Arc claimed that Margaret’s voice told her to save France.
The second nine-line miniature painting depicts St. Katherine of Alexandria: A haloed St. Katherine is painted holding a book in her left hand and sword in her right.
These miniatures are by the Master Jean Coene (also known as the Master of the Paris Entries), a prolific artist who was active in Paris for the French court under Louis XII and Francis I, and also collaborated with the workshop of the Master Jean Pichoire. Coene’s quick painting technique and the careful finish of his miniatures led him to be one of the most successful artists for a high-ranking clientele in early sixteenth-century Paris.
The two-line “V” by St. Margaret begins: “Virgo...” (Glorious virgin of Christ, Margaret, most precious jewel of virgins, by the shining virtue of those above, hear our prayers…).
The two-line “V” by St. Katherine begins: “Virgo…” (The virgin St. Katherine, jewel of Greece, was the daughter of King Copstus in the city of Alexandria…).