The black background of the image of the Coronation of the Virgin (part of the collection at The Morgan Library and Museum) actually extends to the whole page of this Book of Hours. It is part of a volume known as "the Black Hours." According to the website of The Morgan Library and Museum:
This Book of Hours, referred to as the Black Hours, is one of a small handful of manuscripts written and illuminated on vellum that is stained or painted black. The result is quite arresting. The text is written in silver and gold, with gilt initials and line endings composed of chartreuse panels enlivened with yellow filigree. Gold foliage on a monochromatic blue background makes up the borders. The miniatures are executed in a restricted palette of blue, old rose, and light flesh tones, with dashes of green, gray, and white. The solid black background is utilized to great advantage, especially by means of gold highlighting.
Although, in general, well preserved, this manuscript has some condition problems. The black of its vellum—the very thing that makes the codex so striking—is also the cause of some serious flaking. The carbon used in the black renders the surface of the vellum smooth and shiny—a handsome but less than ideal supporting surface for some of the pigments. The Morgan's Black Hours is awaiting conservation treatment.
Queen of Heaven, rejoice, Alleluia!
R. For he whom you deserved to bear, Alleluia!
Has risen as he said, Alleluia!
R. Pray for us to God, Alleluia!
Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, Alleluia!
For the Lord has truly risen, Alleluia!
Let us pray:
O God, who gave joy to the world through the resurrection of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,
grant, we beseech thee, that through the intercession of his Mother, the Virgin Mary,
we may obtain the joys of everlasting life.
Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
Pray it in Latin!
- Regina cæli, lætare, alleluia:
- R. Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia,
- Resurrexit, sicut dixit, alleluia,
- R. Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.
- Gaude et lætare, Virgo Maria, alleluia.
- R. Quia surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia.
mundum lætificare dignatus es:
præsta, quæsumus, ut per eius Genitricem Virginem Mariam,
perpetuæ capiamus gaudia vitæ.
Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum. R. Amen.