Leaf from a Book of Hours:
Initial D (Office of the Virgin, Lauds), about 1400
Ink, tempera, and gold on vellum
The Jeanne Miles Blackburn Collection [Cat. no. 19]
Not all books of hours were decorated with conventional historiated initials or full-page miniatures containing figural scenes. The illuminator of this leaf incorporated a more subtle decorative scheme consisting of a large, flower-filled initial D[eus] that gives a focus to the page. A rectangular bar border with ivy leaf sprays punctuated with flowers in the corners flows from this initial. The layout is neat, yet elegant. The palette of orange-reds and pale blues is typically English.