Saint Sebastian & the Black Death. Hours leaf c.1510


Book of Hours, c. 1510

                 Metal cuts of soldiers, shepherds, peasants, rabbits, dogs.


Recto:  Text in Latin printed on paper with two two-line hand illuminated initials in red & blue and with versal initials touched in yellow.  Metal cuts include mounted and foot soldiers, rabbits and a dog.


Verso:  As Recto, with metal cuts of shepherds with a pen of sheep, peasants eating and playing music and putti.


Printer:   Simon Vostre, Paris


Date:  c. 1510


Content:  Both sides of this leaf contain prayers to Saint Sebastian, the patron saint of plague victims. The text on Verso reads, in part, O sancte Sebastiane, semper vespere et mane, cunctis horis etmomentis dum adhuc sum sanae mentis me protège et conserva, et a me, martyr, enerva infirmitatem noxiam vocatam epidemiam.  (O Saint Sebastian always, at evening and morning, in all hours and moments while I remain of sound mind, protect me and save me and take out of me, O martyr, the harmful weakness called epidemic).


Condition:  The leaf is in good/very good condition, sharply printed and finished with hand illumination.  Some edge browning and surface dirt.  It is unconditionally guaranteed genuine.


Size:  Size of leaf: approx. 165x110 mm. Printed area : approx.  150x95 mm. Presented in a museum quality mat, ready for framing.  Please note that packing and postage is invoiced separately.  Within Australia: $22.50.  Overseas: ask for quote.


Notes:  The martyrdom of Saint Sebastian in c. 288 AD is one of the most enduring themes in Western religious art. The execution scene so often portrayed - with the Saint transfixed with arrows - is based on the legend about his life and death during the reign of the Roman emperor, Diocletian. However, it is the symbolic association of arrows with the Black Death - during the Middle Ages and during the Renaissance - which identifies Sebastian as the patron saint of plague victims.

The Black Death, also known as the Black Plague, was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, resulting in the deaths of an estimated 75 to 200 million people in Eurasia.  It peaked in Europe from 1347 to 1351 where it is estimated to have killed 40% - 60% of the population.   The plague created a series of religious, social, and economic upheavals which had profound effects on the course of European history.

Item No:  PSA 097

Add to Cart:

Copyright © 2019 Littera Scripta ABN 63 259 816 761. Powered by Zen Cart - Design by Sloan Creative Design