The Washing of the Feet (c. 109 x 158 mm.)
Pen and ink with watercolor wash on paper
Germany, likely Swabia, c. 1450-1470
The present leaf comes from a Lectionary in which readings for the feasts of the saints were arranged according to the liturgical yea. Such a Lectionary, written in a Swabian dialect, was most likely for a lay owner to use for study or to follow along with the mass, with the instant comprehensibility of the vernacular text matched by the immediacy of the vivid pictures. This desire for full participation in church ritual would be a contributory factor in the Reformation. Our miniature illustrates the Washing of the Feet (John 12: 1-8) with colored washes applied to leave dramatic highlights of exposed white paper.