Original leaf from a manuscript Book of Hours. 24 lines of text, ruled in red, written in Latin in angular gothic book-hand script on animal vellum. Rubrics in red.(178 x 125mm – 7 x 5’’)
One three-line illuminated initial in red and white with a floral interior on a gold ground; one one-line illuminated paraph and two line extenders in liquid gold on red or blue ground.
Unusual vibrant and elaborate borders in colorful floral and geometric motif in red, green, blue and white on gold ground.
France: Rouen, (Use of Rouen) c. 1470-90.
Three-quarter miniature painting of The Last Judgment: Christ is seated on an arc surrounded by a starry blue sky, with hands raised, feet resting on gold sphere; red mantle drapes around him in a manner which displays his wounds. The Virgin Mary and St. John the Baptist kneel on either side of arc with hands clasped. Two trumpeting angels wearing red and gold robes and with red and gold wings are in the upper right and left. Five men and two women are seen rising from their earthly tombs.
This image of Christ seated in judgment provided a meditational focus for the recitation of the psalms, urging sinners to repent before death. Miniatures of the last judgment are not found in all Books of Hours since "the dread with which the late medieval mind anticipated death tolerated few images representing the possible turn of events that took place after burial" (Wieck, Book of Hours in Medieval Art & Life, p. 129).
The painting begins the reading of the Seven Penitential Psalms. The three-line illuminated “D” opens Psalm 6: “Domine…” (O Lord, rebuke me not in thy indignation, nor chastise me in thy wrath).