GOD IN MAJESTY, on a leaf from a Missal, in Latin, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM
236 x 150mm. Within a classicising architectural frame, God the Father enthroned, attended by red seraphs and with the symbols of the Four Evangelists emerging from blue clouds at the corners, each holding a scroll with his name in French. On the reverse, the opening of the canon of the Mass, Te igitur, written in brown ink in a gothic bookhand, with rubrics in blue, a large initial on a gold ground with an infill of flowers and smaller signs of the Cross and a further initial, also on gold grounds (cut into framing at right and into the cross below, left corner creased just into framing, a few slight paint losses).
The figure of God, with his ruddy flesh tones and dramatically dark shaded robes, is typical of Jean Pichore, who ran a large workshop centred in Paris in the first two decades of the 16th century. As has been remarked, his productions vary in quality and his personal contribution was often limited but his assistants preserved the force of his designs by maintaining his bold outlines and preference for rich colours, enhanced here by the lavish use of gold: F. Avril and N. Reynaud, Les manuscrits à peintures en France 1440-1520, 1993, pp.282-5,411-5. Pichore's mastery of Renaissance decorative motifs brings a new grandeur to the traditional image of God in Majesty.