IM-2721: (133x95mm) Original leaf from a Medieval manuscript Book of Hours. 18 lines of text, written in Latin with dark brown ink on animal vellum - painted in the style of the Master of Mary of Burgundy. The text is surrounded with an exceptional inhabited trompe l’oeil floral border (containing roses, a strawberry, a bird, gray acanthus leaves…). Verso contains text surrounded by two large elegant flowers with a snail at the top of the page, and one crawling up the red rose. Belgium, Ghent, c. 1465.
The miniature painting depicts The Crucifixion with John the Apostle, the Virgin Mary & two Roman soldiers. The red “P” begins “Patris sapientia…” (The wisdom of the Father, and truth divine beside, God and man surprised was even at the morning tide: His known disciples left Him for to follow more: Sold and betrayed to the Jews they did afflict Him sore…). The blue “D” begins the prayer: “Domine…” (O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, place Thy Passion, Cross, and Death between Thy judgment and my soul, now and in the hour of my death. Deign to grant me grace and mercy, pardon to the living, eternal rest to the dead, peace to Thy Church, and life and eternal glory to all sinners. Thou who livest and reignest forever and ever…).
Books of Hours are personal prayer books of a devout and status-conscious society and are not only works of art, but cultural documents of their time. They reveal a unique combination of sacred and secular imagery - made of the finest materials, by the best craftsmen, for a small audience, which could both appreciate and afford them.