AN ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT LEAF WITH A SMALL MINIATURE OF JOHN THE EVANGELIST, FROM A BOOK OF HOURS IN LATIN.
TEXT FROM THE SUFFRAGES OF THE SAINTS.(Paris, ca. 1440). 121 x 89 mm (4 3/4 x 3 1/2"). Single column, 15 lines of text in an especially fine gothic book hand.
Attractively matted. Rubrics in red, verso with a large two-line "E" in maroon and white with enclosed scrolling flowered stems, the whole on a burnished gold ground, the same side with a one-line initial and a line filler, both in colors and burnished gold, along with a swirling quarter panel border featuring flowers, leaves, strawberries, and many burnished gold ivy leaves on hairline stems; the recto with a three-quarter panel border of similar design, though more lavish (and with a vertical bar of red, blue, and burnished gold between the text and the border in the fore margin), as well as with a two-line initial in colors and burnished gold, the same side also WITH A SMALL AND QUITE CHARMING MINIATURE OF JOHN THE EVANGELIST (measuring approximately 25 x 29 mm.), the saint in pink and blue holding the chalice (one of his identifying attributes), standing at the center of the picture, his halo reaching the upper rim, surrounded by small, spade-shaped trees, two eerie rock formations framing the background, which contains a large lake and a walled city. In virtually perfect condition, the margins excellent and the vellum, paint, and gold all especially fresh and bright.
John finds himself here in verdant territory, walking through what seem to be lush pastures and orchards. He is shown frontally, with a solemn facial expression, clutching the chalice with his left hand, while pointing with his right to this symbol of salvation. There is no dramatic moment to rivet our attention, but the artist has provided us with a pleasing, skillfully rendered composition nevertheless. (ST11459-143)