IM-11801: (160 x 115mm – 6 ¼ x 4 ½’’) Original leaf from a manuscript Book of Hours. 13 lines of text (recto), ruled in red, written in Latin in angular gothic book-hand script on animal vellum. Four illuminated one-line initials and four illuminated line-extenders in gold on a red or blue ground. Elaborate panel border (recto) in colorful floral motif (with strawberries – symbol of perfect righteousness) on gold ground.
France: Rouen (Use of Rouen) c. 1490-1510.
The exceptionally fine full-page illuminated painting depicts the Visitation. Style and execution are closely related to the Master of the Geneva Latini (see Walter 224 & 233 for examples), and nearly identical to a miniature in the Book of Hours, Bodleian Library MS Buchanan e3, likely painted by the same artist - notable for beautifully modelled faces and eyes.
The full page miniature painting depicts the Virgin Mary greeting her cousin, Elizabeth, who is soon to give birth to John the Baptist. Behind Mary two angels dressed in gold, with golden wings, appear to be whispering to each other, hands clasped in prayer. Large medieval buildings are seen in the background on right, and a large hill with building and trees in background on left. The painting is framed with an elaborate archway decorated with a garland of gold crosses hanging from the top, with columns in gold and blue.
The text (recto) concludes the Hour of the Virgin Mary – Hour of Matins with the completion of the prayer Te Deum: “Dignare…” (O Lord, deign to keep us from sin this day…). The miniature painting is the opening for the Hours of the Virgin Mary – Hour of Lauds.