Fear and Worship in Paris: Leaf from miniature French Book of Hours (likely Use of Rome), first quarter of 15th c.
Fear and Worship in Paris: Leaf from miniature French Book of Hours (likely Use of Rome), first quarter of 15th c.
Fear and Worship in Paris: Leaf from miniature French Book of Hours (likely Use of Rome), first quarter of 15th c.
Fear and Worship in Paris: Leaf from miniature French Book of Hours (likely Use of Rome), first quarter of 15th c.
Fear and Worship in Paris: Leaf from miniature French Book of Hours (likely Use of Rome), first quarter of 15th c.
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Fear and Worship in Paris: Leaf from miniature French Book of Hours (likely Use of Rome), first quarter of 15th c.

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France, likely Paris (86  x 65 mm) 12 lines in finely executed Gothic script in Latin. Single column of text surrounded by border of ivy on recto. One 5-line illuminated initial, one 2-line illuminated initial, 5 single line illuminated initials.

 

The Art:

The upper reaches of the inner border terminates in a floral spray reminiscent of the top of the main staircase in the Tour Jean-sans-Peur (John without Fear), the only remains of the original residence of the Counts of Artois and Dukes of Burgundy in Paris. 

  

A border consisting of (nearly) exclusively ivy indicates the Parisian origin. A common strategy in medieval borders was to embed symbolism in the margins to prompt the reader to reflect on the significance. Interwoven within the ivy are a strawberry and a thistle (perhaps a subtle nod at the relationship between France and Scotland).

 

The Text:

 

This tiny book was designed to fit comfortably into the hands of its noble reader and guide them through the canonical hours of the day. The prayer on this leaf, “Deus, in adiutorium” [God attend to my help], is the first line of Psalm 70, which would have acted to remind the reader of the whole psalm and its response, "Domine, ad adiuvandum me festina” (Lord, speed to help me).

 

Text:

Deus, in adiutorium meum intende.

Domine ad adiuvandum…

Usquequo Domine oblivisceris me in finem usquequo avertis faciem tuam a me

Quamdiu ponam consilia in anima mea dolorem

 

in corde meo per dium.

Usquequo exaltabitur inimicus meus super me respice et exaudi me domine deus meus.

Illumina oculos meos, ne unquam obdormiam in morte,

nequando dicat inimicus meus praevalui adversus eum.

qui tribulant me exultabunt si motus fuero ego autem in mia…

 

Translation:

God, attend to my help.

Lord to help…

Lord, until you forget me until the end, until you turn your face away from me

As long as I lay the plans in my soul, the pain in my heart will last a day.

 

Until my enemy shall be exalted above me, look upon me, and hear me, O Lord, my God.

Enlighten my eyes, that I may never sleep in death

never let my enemy say that I prevailed against him.

Those who trouble me will rejoice if I am moved, but I am in mine

 

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