Original leaf from a manuscript Book of Hours. 15 lines of text (recto), ruled in red, written in Latin in angular gothic book-hand script on animal vellum. (170 x 113mm – 6 ¾ x 4 3/8’’)
One three-line illuminated initial and two two-line illuminated initials in blue and white on gold ground with floral infill; five one-line illuminated initials in gold on red ground or blue ground. Elaborate panel border (recto) in colorful floral motif in red, blue, green, yellow and gold.
France: Rouen c. 1460-80.
Exceptionally fine miniature painting of The Nativity. Style and execution of the miniature painting is closely related to the Master of the Geneva Latini (see Walter 224 and 233 for examples), and very similar to miniatures in the Morgan Library Book of Hours MS M.131 including border paintings and layout.
The large miniature painting depicts Mary and Joseph kneeling with hands clasped as they gaze at the radiant Christ Child who rests on the spread hem of her blue mantle and gazes back at her. A donkey and ox are in the stable (with hole in thatched roof) behind Mary. Golden heavenly rays shine down on the family.
The densely elaborate floral border surrounding the Nativity contains a bird, a man kneeling with an offering on a dish and two additional miniature paintings. The Journey of the Magi: The Magi are depicted holding long golden tapers. One kneels on the ground alerting the other two by pointing with his left hand up to the Star of Bethlehem.
The Fall of Idols shows two men standing before a crumbling idol atop a tall pedestal with parts of the idol shown fallen to the ground.
This leaf opens the Hours of the Virgin – Hour of Prime: “Deus…” (Incline unto my aid O God…).