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TEXT FROM THE GOSPEL LESSONS
Flanders [Bruges?], ca. 1460. n. By the mid-14th century, the "Gospel Lessons" had become a typical feature in Books of Hours and were typically accompanied by portraits of the Evangelists and their attributes. The Lessons would often have been the first section encountered by the Medieval reader, immediately following the Calendar and consisting of four short readings from each of the Gospels. Consistent with convention, Mark is shown seated here (either in a study or a scriptorium) in the act of writing, and accompanied by his attribute, the lion. Although the basic imagery of this scene rarely varies, scholars like Roger Wieck have long noted how "the practices and equipment of medieval scribes are reflected in these miniatures" ("Time Sanctified," p. 55). Our artist carefully depicts a tilted writing surface attached to the saint's chair with metal clamps, and with two wells (presumably for ink) on the right side. Mark wields a stylus and works on a long scroll that falls off the end of the table, a red initial just barely visible near its top edge. The miniature is deftly painted and highly detailed, despite its relatively small size. The artist depicts surroundings that are well defined, with a bright red tile floor, rich blue tapestry, multicolored columns, and a view of the outdoors.. 220 x 154 mm. (8 3/4 x 6"). Single column, 19 lines in a fine gothic book hand. Rubrics in red, a gold and pink bar along the left side of the text on recto, one two-line gilt initial against a blue and pink ground, head and tail of recto with border of acanthus leaves and flower buds, and A VERY PLEASING MINIATURE OF SAINT MARK (measuring 49 x 47 mm.). Small chip to one corner of the vellum, text on miniature side a little faded (but nothing illegible), margins a touch soiled, but still excellent, with the miniature in fine condition, retaining all its original detail and appeal. By the mid-14th century, the "Gospel Lessons" had become a typical feature in Books of Hours and were typically accompanied by portraits of the Evangelists and their attributes. The Lessons would often have been the first section encountered by the Medieval reader, immediately following the Calendar and consisting of four short readings from each of the Gospels. Consistent with convention, Mark is shown seated here (either in a study or a scriptorium) in the act of writing, and accompanied by his attribute, the lion. Although the basic imagery of this scene rarely varies, scholars like Roger Wieck have long noted how "the practices and equipment of medieval scribes are reflected in these miniatures" ("Time Sanctified," p. 55). Our artist carefully depicts a tilted writing surface attached to the saint's chair with metal clamps, and with two wells (presumably for ink) on the right side. Mark wields a stylus and works on a long scroll that falls off the end of the table, a red initial just barely visible near its top edge. The miniature is deftly painted and highly detailed, despite its relatively small size. The artist depicts surroundings that are well defined, with a bright red tile floor, rich blue tapestry, multicolored columns, and a view of the outdoors.
      [Bookseller: Phillip J. Pirages Fine Books and Mediev]
Last Found On: 2016-10-30           Check availability:      Biblio    

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