Leaf from a Book of Hours: Office of the Dead: Two Devils (verso)

Leaf from a Book of Hours: Office of the Dead: Two Devils (verso)

c. 1460

Part of a set. See all set records

circle of Coëtivy Master


Ink, tempera and gold on vellum

Leaf: 19.7 x 14.3 cm (7 3/4 x 5 5/8 in.)

The Jeanne Miles Blackburn Collection 2005.206.b



As a time-saving device, illuminators in the 1450s and later would often paint identical borders on both sides of a leaf. The motifs would be drawn on one side and then traced on the other by holding the leaf against a window. Both sides of this leaf are therefore mirror images, containing elaborate floral borders, gold-leaf ivy vines, sprays of flowers or fruit, and a grotesque, in this case a bird with the head of a man. Also included is a roundel featuring two devils. This leaf is from a dismantled manuscript that included numerous painted roundels relating to the lives of Saint Catherine of Alexandria and the more obscure Saint Alexis.

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