London, South Kensington
15 November 2013
FOUR FACSIMILE LEAVES, in Latin, COPIES ON VELLUM AFTER ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS, [France, 2nd half 19th century]. Two leaves copied from the Salisbury Breviary (Paris BnF MS Lat. 17294): the first depicts St John on Patmos, signed 'A. Racinet, 1862'; the second is the Resurrection, signed 'A. Racinet père, 1861'. Both miniatures are surrounded by decorated borders containing historiated medallions. The Bedford Master's illumination has been copied but the original text from the Salisbury Breviary has not; 219 x 145mm; 260 x 129mm. A leaf depicting the Agony in the Garden, signed 'Fern (?) de Pape, 1864'. Possibly copied from a Bruges Book of Hours, the large miniature is surrounded by naturalistic border; 178 x 131mm. A leaf depicting the Annunciation, copied from a Book of Hours, the text beginning 'Missus est Gabriel angelus', from the Office of the Virgin at Matins, comprising the miniature and a decorated initial with four lines of text surrounded by decorated border.
Typically of 19th-century manuscript facsimiles, the text has largely been eliminated from these leaves and they appear closer to painted pictures than liturgical fragments. Racinet's work seems to have been well-regarded by his contemporaries, his copies-after-originals appear in the important archives of the publisher Ambroise Firmin-Didot (d.1876).
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