27 SKELETONS WALKING / Virtual Print Fair 178

Description: WALKING SKELETONS - Around 1494
Beautiful leaf from a Paris Book of Hours on vellum.
From the early years, still from the 15th century.
These are equal to those used by Pigouchet for Simon Vostre in his 1491 Book of Hours, use of Rome and subsequent Horea up to 1495.

More research suggest this page is from: Horae: ad usum Sarum (Salisbury)
Paris: by Philippe Pigouchet, for the Rouan bookseller Jean Richard, 1494
(this is guaranteed a 15th century's original, the info on exact date and publisher is given with reserve)

This is a facinating subject. It reminds the 'The Skleleton dance' from the Liber Chronicarum. These seem to be grave digers (shovel and other tools they are carrying). One is holding his handopwards towards the cross, the first skeleton ins pointing out the direction. It is probably a memento mori and connected to the last judgement and the resurection.

This is a medieval piece, the style is more charming and less sophisticated then the more complex pieces after 1500. First there was an image printed that served as under drawing and then the picture was painted in opaque paint. This resulted in one of the finest miniatures from the period. You can find others online but the quality of this one is outstanding. See for instance the shades in the flesh colour of the faces, the figures have real expression.

Imagine the middle ages when the monastery's in Europe had library's and workshops where monks made wonderful handwritten manuscripts enlightened with miniatures and painted initials. Time was no issue, quality and contemplation were high values.Second half 15th century the art of printing was discovered. In the early incunabula period the books looked very much like the written manuscripts with painted woodblocks replacing the miniatures and initials still hand painted. This is such a transition piece.

The quality of the miniature is exceptional. Excelleration in quality is an exponential factor in terms of value.

Condition: Although the item is more then 500 years old its condition is good.
Little staining in the text and tiny defects to the paint from use.

Additional Information
SKU xxq53
Picture Size 14 x 9 cm
Specification Painting
technic Miniature
Artist Anonymous 15th century
period 16th Century
School Flemish
subject Religious
rating ****
  • Number: 1780044 (xxq53)
  • Dealer: Speculum Orbis Nauticum