MINIATURE OF THE DEPOSITION. Illuminated manuscript on vellum, [probably Paris, c. 1420].

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Lot 8
MINIATURE OF THE DEPOSITION.
Illuminated manuscript on vellum, [probably Paris, c. 1420].

US$ 2,000 - 3,000
£ 1,600 - 2,400

Fine Books and Manuscripts

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Early Printed Books and Illuminated Manuscripts
MINIATURE OF THE DEPOSITION.
Illuminated manuscript on vellum, [probably Paris, c. 1420]. Single leaf from book of hours, gothic book hand, 210 x 146 mm. (8 1/4 x 5 3/4"). Single column, recto with five lines of text, verso with 16 lines. Rubrics in red, verso with a one-line and two two-line initials as well as a line filler in colors and burnished gold, recto with a one-line initial and a line filler in the same style, and with a quite large five-line "D" in pink and white with enclosed floral diapering, all on a burnished gold ground, the same side with a lovely full border of swirling hairline stems bearing numerous leaves and berries of burnished gold and with sprays of acanthus leaves and flowers in multiple colors spilling from the corners, this enclosing a poignant arch-topped miniature of the removal of Christ from the cross (approximately 85 x 60 mm.), the miniature within a thin gold frame and enclosed, in turn, on three sides by bars in colors and gold, the scene showing two men on ladders unfastening Christ's lifeless body from the cross, while Joseph of Arimathea waits below, clutching cloth to be used for a burial shroud as the Madonna, at the lower left of the picture, reaches up to clasp her son's bloody arm. With a small cross stitched in white thread in each upper corner. A little soiling right along hinge edge, a few smudges in the border, a couple of tiny flakes of paint missing from the cross and the sky.

An extremely emotional miniature of the deposition, depicted with power, grace, and sensitivity by an artist demonstrating very considerable skill in composition and execution. The scene is well designed, with the cross providing a device for focus at the center of the miniature.
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