St Clare, miniature on a leaf of a Book of Hours, in Latin [southern Netherlands (Ghent or Bruges), c.1500]
2,000 - 3,000 GBP
bidding is closed
single leaf, 188x130mm, vellum, miniature for the suffrage of St Clare, verso with two lines of text with a slim three-sided border, damaged by water and fire?, laid down on vellum, inscribed in 19th(?)-century pencil ‘No 751752314’
Although somewhat damaged, this leaf must have come from an expensive and elegant book. All the rubrics are written in gold, and capital letters are heightened in the same colour. The style of the small miniature can be associated with the MASTER OF JAMES IV OF SCOTLAND, one of the finest illuminators active in Flanders around 1500 and perhaps to be identified with Gerard Horenbout, court painter to Margaret of Austria, Regent of the Netherlands, and one of his close collaborators, the MASTER OF THE LÜBECK BIBLE. The robust figure of St Clare with the finely modelled head and dark piercing eyes relates to the Master of James IV of Scotland while the sense of movement present in the dark habit of the abbess provides strong links with the Master of the Lübeck Bible. The high attention to detail is evident in the elaborate monstrance with the barely visible host behind the glass as well as in the crozier which is depicted together with the sudarium suspended from the crosier at the place where the abbess grasps it, to prevent the saint's hand from sweating and discolouring the metal. It seems that the border was first planned to be a simpler panel border which was then enlarged as a full border.