Illuminated Manuscript with Miniature of the Pentecost


IM-4866 – (179x127mm) Original leaf from a medieval manuscript Book of Hours. 16 lines of red-ruled text, written in Latin with dark brown ink in gothic script on animal vellum. One illuminated three-line initial and three two-line initials in blue and white on burnished gold ground with floral infill; three one-line initials and four line extenders in liquid gold, on blue or sepia ground. Elaborate panel borders: Verso has a highly decorative floral design with flowers, berries and acanthus leaves in blue, red, green, pink, burnished and brushed gold; Recto contains a beautiful border with acanthus leaves, flowers, and berries on a brushed gold ground – two birds are also found in the border. Original reinforcement in lower margin.

Western France (Poitou?), c. 1470. Provenance: Presented by Count Claude de Fonseque to his sister Countess Helene de Fonseque de Segueres. Formerly in the collection of Allen Rowland – on deposit at the Beinecke Library, Yale.

The miniature painting depicts The Pentecost. Mary kneels in front of an open book with hands clasped in prayer. The others stand or kneel with hands clasped gazing at Mary. The Holy Spirit, in the form of a white dove, is seen in the window – emanating golden rays which descend on those gathered. The faces are beautifully detailed and exquisitely painted.

The three-line ‘’D’’ opens Hours of the Holy Spirit – Hour of Matins. The two-line ‘’N’’ begins the hymn Nobis sancti Spiritus (The grace of the Holy Ghost free unto us befall: Wherewith was overshadowed the maid of maidens all. When the angel Gabriel his salutation said, The Word itself flesh became and virgin fruitful made…).

SKU: ILL108391930 Categories: ,

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Creation Date:
c. 1470

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