Mirror of Perfection

Spiegel der volcomenheit

[Issued with:]
Simon van Venlo (fl. 15th century).
Devote oefening ende bedudenis der missen.
[Issued with:]
Simon van Venlo. Bereydinghe om het H. Sacrament te ontvangen.
Leiden: Hugo Janszoen van Woerden, 16 October 1499. (07060)

Bridwell Library’s only fifteenth-century book printed at Leiden in the Netherlands, this publication contains three short theological treatises in Dutch. The anonymous Spiegel der volcomenheit (“Mirror of Perfection”), sometimes attributed to Henricus de Herpf (ca. 1410–1477), was a popular meditation on Christ’s Passion that reflected the inward spirituality of the Devotio moderna. The edition also includes two works on the Holy Sacrament by Simon van Venlo. Exhibited here is the beginning of the second of these, illustrated with a simple woodcut of Christ as the “Man of Sorrows,” embracing the Cross and surrounded by the other instruments of the Passion. The book’s rubricator has added drops of red ink to emphasize Christ’s wounds. Bridwell Library owns the only copy of this book held in the United States.

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Fifteenth-Century Printed Books
Mirror of Perfection