A Vision of the End of Days, Vibrantly Colored and Streaked with Gold

TEXT FROM THE PENITENTIAL PSALMS.

(Bruges: ca. 1440). 141 x 105 mm. (5 5/8 x 4 3/4"). Single column, 18 lines in a gothic book hand.

Attractively matted. Rubrics in red, several one-line initials in gold with purple penwork, or painted blue with red penwork, recto with a five-line "D" painted blue with white tracery, inhabited by a small blue and green wheel on dark pink ground highlighted with white tracery and framed in gold, WITH A FULL BORDER of multi-colored acanthus, flowers, hairline vines, and gold ivy leaves, and an arch-topped HALF-PAGE MINIATURE OF THE LAST JUDGMENT framed on three sides with bars of blue and pink with white tracery edged in gold, the miniature featuring Christ suspended in the air and wearing a bright orange robe, two angels painted blue and blowing on horns with scrolls emerging from the ends; on Christ's right side, a body emerging from the grassy ground, and on His left a monstrous black creature with an open mouth, all this on a background of dark pink with gold scroll work. A hint of general soiling to vellum, Christ's robes and the creature with some very small spots of wear, perhaps one or two other minor imperfections elsewhere, but these faults all quite minor, and the leaf IN EXCELLENT CONDITION OVERALL, the colors very bright and with clean, ample margins all around.

Well designed, vibrantly colored, and sparkling with gold, this attractive miniature was clearly done by one of the Flemish illuminators from a group known collectively as the Masters of the Gold Scrolls, their name derived from the scrolling gold decoration in the background of many of their paintings--including the present example. Our particular artist shows a fondness for vivid colors, using bright orange and lilac for Christ's robes, contrasting with the royal blue angels and clouds that surround him, and the intensely green grass on the earth below. The scene depicted here is the Last Judgment, in which Christ sits upon a rainbow, his feet resting on an orb that represents the world. The wounds on his hands, feet, and side are prominently displayed to the figure being resurrected at the left (i.e., Christ's right-hand side), while an enormous beast with glowing red eyes lurks opposite, his mouth wide open to reveal a pile of skulls smoldering within. Images of the Last Judgment (or scenes with similar iconography, such as a Salvator Mundi), are more commonly found accompanying the Penitential Psalms in earlier Books of Hours, but the tradition remained alive into the 15th century with Flemish and Belgian artisans in particular; elsewhere, images of King David are more commonly encountered. (For another example of the Last Judgment from this same group of illuminators, see Roger Wieck, "Time Sanctified," p. 98, fig. 64.).
(ST16379-009)

Keywords: Book of Hours

Add to Cart Price: $6,500.00

PJP Catalog: 78.025

(ST16379-009) TEXT FROM THE PENITENTIAL PSALMS. WITH MINIATURE OF THE LAST JUDGMENT A VELLUM MANUSCRIPT LEAF FROM A. BOOK OF HOURS IN LATIN.
TEXT FROM THE PENITENTIAL PSALMS.
TEXT FROM THE PENITENTIAL PSALMS.