TEXT FROM "OBSECRO TE."
AN ILLUMINATED VELLUM MANUSCRIPT LEAF WITH A SMALL MINIATURE OF THE VIRGIN AND CHILD, FROM AN ENGAGING LITTLE BOOK OF HOURS IN LATIN
Price: 3,000.00 USD
Northern France [probably Paris]: ca. 1460s. 130 x 98 mm. (5 1/8 x 3 7/8"). Single column, 14 lines in a fine gothic book hand. Attractively matted. The text similarly decorated as in the previous entry, but with the panel border on each side inhabited by a pretty brown and white bird in flight, the recto WITH A SHIMMERING MINIATURE (measuring 35 x 33 mm.) OF THE VIRGIN AND CHILD, the pair seated on a red-canopied bed, its hangings with golden stippling, the Virgin's blue robe also with much gold, and the Christ Child looking like a small prince in a gold and red open robe. A couple of minor marginal stains, otherwise an especially fine, fresh leaf. In this simple but very pleasing miniature, the Virgin sits with a playful and energetic Christ Child on her lap. The face of the young Jesus is convincingly infantile, but his slender body prefigures his manhood, a Medieval artistic convention suggesting that Our Lord possessed all the wisdom of an adult from the time of his birth. The "Obsecro te" is a prayer to the Virgin, begging for her aid. Frequently used in Books of Hours, the prayer is most often accompanied, as here, by a scene of the Virgin cuddling her child or by a Pieta.