"Convert us, O God our saviour: and turn off thy anger from us."
STUNNING DEPICTION OF THE ICONIC FLIGHT INTO EGYPT.
In the story of the Flight into Egypt, King Herod has sent an army to kill the infant Jesus. In this striking depiction of the iconic scene, the Virgin, draped in a blue robe lined with gold, sits on a donkey holding the infant Jesus. Joseph stands beside his family guiding them to safety while Herod’s menacing army quickly approaches from the top left of the composition, creating narrative tension for the viewer, an anxiety reinforced by the prominence of a skull found within the opening initial of the text. Despite the forces of death that surround the holy family, their faces remain placid, seemingly oblivious to the dangers that quite literally surround them. We see a similar paradox in the luminous border, whereby, in addition to a lush floral design and a painting of a graceful dove, lurks a grotesque avian creature, hinting at danger. Perhaps the illuminator used these contrasting figures to complement the peacefulness of the Holy Family with the imminent threat of Herod’s army and the later threat of death.
The text, from psalm 84 reads, “Converte nos Deus salutum nostarum et averte iram tuam a nobis” (Convert us, O God our saviour; and turn off they anger from us).
Size of leaf: 150mm x 102mm (5.9 x 4.0 inches)
Size of miniature: 69 x 60 mm (2.7 x 2.4 inches)
Likely France, c.1490, on vellum. Some minor rubbing to the border that does not affect the miniature or the text. Matted & framed. Not examined outside of frame. Overall, a bright, clean leaf with a beautiful image.
Price: $4,900 .