(Bruges: ca. 1470). 230 x 150 mm. (9 x 6"). Single column, 18 lines in a gothic book hand.
Matted. Several one-line initials in blue with red penwork, or gold with purple penwork, two two-line initials in gold, filled with blue or pink with white tracery and on contrasting ground, A SIX-LINE "D" HISTORIATED WITH THE SCENE OF CHRIST APPEARING BEFORE PILATE, the letter painted blue with white tracery on a burnished gold ground, Christ with his hands tied and escorted by two soldiers, several additional soldiers pictured in the background, Pilate seated, wearing a deep blue robe dotted with gold and holding a scepter, the text framed on three sides with gold and pink bars, A FULL BORDER, three sides consisting of blue and gold acanthus, strawberries, and flowers with many gold bezants and ink dots, inner side with hairline vines and gold bezants. A small spot of glue from earlier mounting on two corners. Inner margin trimmed a little close (just grazing the border), the delicate facial features within the initial just slightly faint, but the extremely attractive leaf still in nearly fine condition, with the border paint especially rich.
This exceptionally pretty leaf is almost certainly a product of the workshop of William Vrelant, the leading purveyor of books of private devotion in Bruges during the third quarter of the 15th century. His prominent position among Flemish illuminators of the time is indicated by the considerable number of manuscripts illustrated in his manner by other miniaturists both in Bruges and in nearby cities in Flanders. The present leaf, being quite large for a Book of Hours and deploying generous amounts of blue and gold in the design, must have been commissioned by a patron of means. The initial here, quite large and very handsomely rendered, depicts a scene from the "Passion Cycle" of images, which, according to Roger Wieck, enjoyed a particular vogue in 15th century Dutch, Flemish, and English Books of Hours, including those that were exported to England. The solemn scene depicted here is that of Christ appearing before the governor of Judea, Pontius Pilate, where he receives the sentence of death by crucifixion. (ST16430)
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PJP Catalog: 78.031