Horae Leaf, 1522 Paris, Recto Image
Saint Margaret, with the demon she subdues and lectures about Christian faith, and Saint Barbara at the moment of her execution. Note their unusually long, free-flowing hair and placid expressions, the former an extremely unusual erotic signifier in images of medieval women (who usually wear head coverings) and the latter a sign of their faithful anticipation of union with Jesus in each VM saint's role as sponsa Christi or "bride of Christ."
Bibliographic Note: This Book of Hours leaf is printed on vellum, using a combination of moveable type for the body text and woodblock images for the illuminations and borders. Typically for this era, the printer was trying to make the mass-produced artifact resemble its hand-made ancestor. No Medieval book buyer would have been deceived by this process. Instead, the printer's efforts could reflect two simultaneous motives, one reverent and the other purely market-driven. First, the woodblock images giving the text a more decorously grand visual accompaniment than a page of naked words. Second, they create a new kind of book-product, far less colorful than the hand-decorated MSS (though rubricated in red by a second press run), but far more grandly illuminated than any handmade volume that could be purchased for the equivalent of only an English pound or two.