Pair of Leaves from a Book of Hours:
Initial D: Flight into Egypt (Hours of the Virgin, Vespers) and Initial D: Massacre of the Innocents (Hours of the Virgin, Compline), about 1300-30
Northeastern France or Flanders
Ink, tempera, and gold on vellum
The Jeanne Miles Blackburn Collection [Cat. nos. 17 and
18 (CMA 1999.126)]
These initials introduce the text, Deus in adiutorium meum intende (God come to my assistance). The borders include playful animals or humans engaged in assorted activities: a dog catching a hare; a lion; a peacock; and a woman winding yarn. The illuminators of books of hours, like the artists of psalters before them, continued to explore the possibilities suggested by open space on the page in order to showcase their ingenuity and delight the reader.