A play of light and space emphasized by gold: the masterpiece by the style-defining Échevinage Master from Rouen

Book of Hours of Rouen

Rouen (France) — ca. 1480

Book of Hours of Rouen

Book of Hours of Rouen

Rouen (France) — ca. 1480

  1. This splendid manuscript is ascribed to the style-defining Master of the Échevinage de Rouen

  2. 29 full-page miniatures feature a masterful play of light and space, emphasized by gold leaf

  3. The 15th century book of hours is a highpoint from the golden age of French illumination

Book of Hours of Rouen

Book of Hours of Rouen

Wildman or Adam?

Like the rest of the miniatures in this late-15th century French masterpiece, this exuberant floral frame features drolleries including a wildman. However, this “wildman” is found below a Nativity Scene, and upon closer consideration, it is a depiction of Adam in his original state of blissful ignorance. Rather than being purely ornamental, this frame makes an allusion to the primary miniature, and the idea that the Messiah will return the souls of the faithful to a state of purity.

Book of Hours of Rouen

Alternative Titles:
  • Rouen Book of Hours
  • Libro de Horas de Rouen
  • Marian Book of Hours
  • La Livre d'Heures de Notre Seigneur
  • Devocionario Mariano
  • Stundenbuch von Rouen
Book of Hours of Rouen – Illuminated 42 – Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Lisboa, Portugal)
Book of Hours of Rouen – Illuminated 42 – Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Lisboa, Portugal)
Book of Hours of Rouen – Illuminated 42 – Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Lisboa, Portugal)
Book of Hours of Rouen – Illuminated 42 – Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Lisboa, Portugal)
Book of Hours of Rouen – Illuminated 42 – Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Lisboa, Portugal)
Book of Hours of Rouen – Illuminated 42 – Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Lisboa, Portugal)
Book of Hours of Rouen – Illuminated 42 – Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Lisboa, Portugal)
Book of Hours of Rouen – Illuminated 42 – Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Lisboa, Portugal)
Book of Hours of Rouen – Illuminated 42 – Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Lisboa, Portugal)
Book of Hours of Rouen – Illuminated 42 – Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Lisboa, Portugal)
Book of Hours of Rouen – Illuminated 42 – Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Lisboa, Portugal)
Book of Hours of Rouen – Illuminated 42 – Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Lisboa, Portugal)
Book of Hours of Rouen – Illuminated 42 – Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Lisboa, Portugal)
Book of Hours of Rouen – Illuminated 42 – Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Lisboa, Portugal)
Book of Hours of Rouen – Illuminated 42 – Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Lisboa, Portugal)
Book of Hours of Rouen – Illuminated 42 – Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Lisboa, Portugal)
Book of Hours of Rouen – Illuminated 42 – Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Lisboa, Portugal)
Book of Hours of Rouen – Illuminated 42 – Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Lisboa, Portugal)
Book of Hours of Rouen – Illuminated 42 – Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Lisboa, Portugal)
Book of Hours of Rouen – Illuminated 42 – Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Lisboa, Portugal)
Book of Hours of Rouen – Illuminated 42 – Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Lisboa, Portugal)
Book of Hours of Rouen – Illuminated 42 – Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Lisboa, Portugal)
Book of Hours of Rouen – Illuminated 42 – Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Lisboa, Portugal)
Book of Hours of Rouen – Illuminated 42 – Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Lisboa, Portugal)
Book of Hours of Rouen – Illuminated 42 – Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Lisboa, Portugal)
Book of Hours of Rouen – Illuminated 42 – Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Lisboa, Portugal)
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  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology

Short Description

A special piece of 15th century French illumination is stored in the Portuguese National Library in Lisbon: the so-called Book of Hours of Rouen. Originating around 1475 in Rouen, the splendid furnishing of the manuscript is ascribed to the Master of the Échevinage de Rouen. He was the most style-defining artist of the center of French art at this time. The Book of Hours of Rouen shines with 29 full-page miniatures as well as the finest furnishings and highest-quality of the paintings. A true gem of late medieval illumination!

Book of Hours of Rouen

A special piece of 15th century French illumination is stored in the Portuguese National Library in Lisbon: the so-called Book of Hours of Rouen. Originating around 1475 in Rouen, the splendid furnishing of the manuscript is ascribed to the Master of the Échevinage de Rouen. He was the most style-defining artist of the center of French art at this time. The Book of Hours of Rouen shines with 29 full-page miniatures as well as the finest furnishings and highest-quality of the paintings. A true gem of late medieval illumination!

Exuberant Adornment

Broad border stripes line the edges of the 142 pages of the manuscript, furnished with opulent, floral ornamentation. Exotic, bright fruits and flowers, but also small animals and other figures animate the ornamentation. In many cases, small medallions are integrated in these tendrils, visualizing masterly scenes. In the middle of this overwhelming adornment, gentrified with gold, stand gorgeous miniatures concerning the theme of Marian piety.

Masterful Painting

Glimmering gold and luminous colors together with the masterful treatment of space and light characterize the outstanding miniatures of the Book of Hours of Rouen. For example, the scene of the stable in Bethlehem, where Mary and Joseph stand to the side of the newborn Christ child, ringed by three handsome and devout angels. The stable is skillfully depicted in perspective, and another part of the landscape is recognizable in the background. Everything is overlaid with artfully varied, splendid gold ornamentation, and the garments of the figures are modeled with gold colors. Beside it there are gorgeous calendar pages with red, blue, and splendid gold lettering and the typical scenes of pastoral daily life in the Late Middle Ages, which constitute the overwhelming pictorial splendor of the French illuminated manuscript.

A Master from Rouen

The book of hours is considered to be an outstanding work from the studio of the so-called Master of the Échevinage de Rouen. This Master of the Échevinage de Rouen (active 1450–1485) was an exceptionally gifted miniaturist from Rouen, who significantly influenced the style of his time. He is named after the five manuscripts for the library of the lay judges of Rouen, which are attributed to him. Additionally, he was responsible for numerous other masterpieces of 15th century illumination.

A Marian Prayer Book

The book of hours was the order of an unknown commissioner. This person assuredly came from the nobility or the class of the high-ranking clergy, who were the typical commissioners of such splendid works of late–15th century illumination. In terms of content, the text and miniatures concern themselves with the Marian piety, wherefore the manuscript is also designated as the Marian Prayer Book. Today the treasure is housed in the Portuguese National Library in Lisbon. The Book of Hours of Rouen visualizes the great art of illumination before the eyes of the beholder and is assuredly a highpoint from the golden age of 15th century French illumination!

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Rouen Book of Hours
Libro de Horas de Rouen
Marian Book of Hours
La Livre d'Heures de Notre Seigneur
Devocionario Mariano
Stundenbuch von Rouen
Size / Format
142 pages / 20.7 × 15.3 cm
Date
ca. 1480
Language
Illustrations
29 full-page miniatures
Artist / School
Previous Owners
Book of Hours of Rouen

Book of Hours of Rouen

Flight to Egypt

This splendid miniature page shows the Holy Family fleeing King Herod’s wrath after Joseph is warned in a dream. “When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, ‘Out of Egypt I called My Son’.” (Matt. 2:14–15)

St. Matthew refers to the words of the prophet Hosea, an example of the typological reading of the Bible favored by medieval scholars wherein events of the Old Testament are scene as “types” to be fulfilled by “antitypes” in the New. Thus, the deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt and the bondage of Pharaoh foretells of the return of the Holy Family from exile there.

1 available facsimile edition(s) of „Book of Hours of Rouen“

Book of Hours of Rouen
Book of Hours of Rouen – Illuminated 42 – Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Lisboa, Portugal)
Book of Hours of Rouen – Illuminated 42 – Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Lisboa, Portugal)
Book of Hours of Rouen – Illuminated 42 – Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Lisboa, Portugal)
Book of Hours of Rouen – Illuminated 42 – Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Lisboa, Portugal)
Book of Hours of Rouen – Illuminated 42 – Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Lisboa, Portugal)
Book of Hours of Rouen – Illuminated 42 – Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Lisboa, Portugal)
Book of Hours of Rouen – Illuminated 42 – Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Lisboa, Portugal)
Book of Hours of Rouen – Illuminated 42 – Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Lisboa, Portugal)
Book of Hours of Rouen – Illuminated 42 – Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Lisboa, Portugal)
Book of Hours of Rouen – Illuminated 42 – Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Lisboa, Portugal)
Book of Hours of Rouen – Illuminated 42 – Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Lisboa, Portugal)
Book of Hours of Rouen – Illuminated 42 – Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Lisboa, Portugal)
Book of Hours of Rouen – Illuminated 42 – Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Lisboa, Portugal)
Book of Hours of Rouen – Illuminated 42 – Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Lisboa, Portugal)
Book of Hours of Rouen – Illuminated 42 – Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Lisboa, Portugal)
Book of Hours of Rouen – Illuminated 42 – Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Lisboa, Portugal)
Book of Hours of Rouen – Illuminated 42 – Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Lisboa, Portugal)
Book of Hours of Rouen – Illuminated 42 – Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Lisboa, Portugal)
Book of Hours of Rouen – Illuminated 42 – Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Lisboa, Portugal)
Book of Hours of Rouen – Illuminated 42 – Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Lisboa, Portugal)
Book of Hours of Rouen – Illuminated 42 – Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Lisboa, Portugal)
Book of Hours of Rouen – Illuminated 42 – Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Lisboa, Portugal)
Book of Hours of Rouen – Illuminated 42 – Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Lisboa, Portugal)
Book of Hours of Rouen – Illuminated 42 – Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Lisboa, Portugal)
Book of Hours of Rouen – Illuminated 42 – Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Lisboa, Portugal)
Book of Hours of Rouen – Illuminated 42 – Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Lisboa, Portugal)
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Book of Hours of Rouen

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Testimonio Compañía Editorial – Madrid, 1997
Limited Edition
980 copies
Binding
Hand sewn and bound in brown goatskin stamped dry on both sides. Closures faithfully reproduced the original bronze. Presented together with the commentary volume in a blue velvet case.
Commentary
1 volume (65 pages) by Martin E. Cortereal de Alburquerque and Sergio Brandao Cardoso do Santos
Language: Spanish
More Information
Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
Price Category: €€ (1,000€ - 3,000€)
Edition available
Price: Login here!
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