Leaf from a Book of Hours (Suffrage to St. Barbara)Artist(s)FrenchArtist NationalityFrench (culture or style)Object Creation Datecirca 1480Medium & Supportink, tempera and gold on parchmentDimensions
5 5/16 x 4 in. (13.49 x 10.16 cm);19 5/16 x 14 5/16 in. (49.05 x 36.35 cm);5 5/16 x 4 in. (13.49 x 10.16 cm)Credit LineBequest of Mrs. John AlexanderLabel copy
Another standard component of the book of hours was the Suffrages, or prayers to saints, which were found at the end. The miniature depicts St. Barbara with her attribute of the tower in which she was imprisoned and the martyr's palm.
A standard component of the book of hours was the Suffrages, or prayers of intercession, or aid, to saints, which were found at the end. This leaf has a miniature showing St. Barbara holding her palm of martyrdom and standing beside the tower in which her father imprisoned her to discourage suitors and in which she was secretly baptized a Christian. The selection of saints appearing in the Suffrages varied according to regional custom or the preference of the person commissioning the book.
Unfortunately, the leaf has been cropped so that some of the border decoration has been lost, but enough remains to give a sense of the effort spent by an illuminator. The border, which surrounds three sides of the text, is divided into alternating bands of gold leaf and plain parchment, and embellished with acanthus leaves and floral sprigs
Gallery label text by Annette Dixon, CuratorPrimary Object ClassificationPaintingCollection AreaWesternRights
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