A unique miniature cycle concerning the Seven Deadly Sins illustrated by examples of animals

Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins

Flanders — Late 15th century

Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins

Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins

Flanders — Late 15th century

  1. The unbelievably-splendid illuminated text is noteworthy for its miniatures of the Seven Deadly Sins

  2. It is the only 15th century book of hours that placed so much significance on this specific religious theme

  3. The sins were represented by animals, e.g. the peacock with his erect tail is an example of excessive pride

Libro de Horas de los Siete Pecados Capitales

Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins

Marginalia and Initials

This is an excellent example of a typical text page from a late medieval Flemish book of hours, a time when the Low Countries were producing some of the finest illuminated manuscripts in Europe and its artistic community was growing and thriving. The gold leaf initials have alternating backgrounds of red and blue with fine patterns. To the left, a songbird flies among the flowers and multicolored acanthus leaves as a doe rests upon the grass, all highlighted and framed with gold leaf.

Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins

Alternative Titles:
  • Libro de Horas de los Siete Pecados Capitales
  • Stundenbuch der sieben Todsünden
Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins – Vit. 24-10 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins – Vit. 24-10 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins – Vit. 24-10 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins – Vit. 24-10 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins – Vit. 24-10 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins – Vit. 24-10 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins – Vit. 24-10 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins – Vit. 24-10 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins – Vit. 24-10 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins – Vit. 24-10 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins – Vit. 24-10 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins – Vit. 24-10 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins – Vit. 24-10 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins – Vit. 24-10 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins – Vit. 24-10 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins – Vit. 24-10 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins – Vit. 24-10 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins – Vit. 24-10 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins – Vit. 24-10 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins – Vit. 24-10 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins – Vit. 24-10 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins – Vit. 24-10 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins – Vit. 24-10 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins – Vit. 24-10 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins – Vit. 24-10 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins – Vit. 24-10 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins – Vit. 24-10 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
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  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology

Short Description

The most beloved book genre of the Middle Ages was undoubtedly the book of hours. The private prayer- and devotional-books were common throughout the medieval world and a large number of them exist to this day. One of the most exciting examples of this popular genre is the so-called Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins, which was made in Flanders between 1460 and 1470. The unbelievably-splendid illuminated text is particularly worthy of note because of seven of its miniatures, which illustrate the Seven Deadly Sins. It is the only 15th century book of hours that placed so much significance on this specific religious theme.

Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins

Books of hours, also called horariums, were the most beloved and widely circulated handwritten codices of the Middle Ages by far. No other genre of book has survived to this day in such great numbers. Books of hours were intended for both the clergy and the laity and was essential reading in the Late Middle Ages in the circles of the rich, educated nobility. This type of books is a private prayer- and devotional-book, from which they would pray and meditate in their private chambers. The books of hours experienced the heyday of its artistry and popularity in the late 14th and 15th centuries in France and Flanders. The specimen at hand, the so-called Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins, was designed in Flanders. It is one of the most outstanding examples of this exceedingly-artistic genre of manuscripts and distinguishes itself above all through its rich and unusual illumination.

A Multi-Faceted Book Genre

Even if there were fixed models and rules for books of hours, not every medieval book of hours is designed in the same way. Core elements of the books of hours consist of an Office of the Virgin Mary and the Office of the Dead. The designation ‘book of hours’ refers to the specific prayers that are to be recited at specific hours of the day. Originally beginning at midnight with the Matins, which was combined in the course of the years with the Lauds for practical purposes, from 6 in the morning, one prayed the Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers, and Compline in three-hour rhythms. In books of hours, one also found the mnemonic Cisiojanus, which helped with the dating of the moveable feast days of the ecclesiastical year. An additional, fixed component of the composition of the book of hours is a text fragment with Penitential Psalms. A special characteristic of the Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins is the splendidly vivid design of its Psalm excerpts.

A Unique Image Program

The Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins was made in Flanders between 1460 and 1470. It contains 75 incomparably beautiful, full-page miniatures in splendid colors. Alongside the large-format miniatures, the masterpiece is additionally adorned with a total of 332 smaller miniatures in the margin strips of the book’s pages. The special characteristic of this gorgeous manuscript is the vivid design of its Penitential Psalms. In seven miniatures, the Seven Deadly Sins are depicted in a terrifyingly-exact manner. The pictures show King David as he commits the various sins of pride, envy, greed, gluttony, sloth, and lust and what consequences he must suffer because of his deeds. The sins were represented by animals in the process, e.g. the peacock stands with his erect tail as an example of excessive pride. All in all, this exceedingly-richly illustrated codex is one of the most beautiful illuminated manuscripts that was produced in the 15th century.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Libro de Horas de los Siete Pecados Capitales
Stundenbuch der sieben Todsünden
Size / Format
428 pages / 16.0 x 11.0 cm
Origin
Flanders
Date
Late 15th century
Illustrations
75 full-page miniatures. 332 pages illuminated with miniatures, borders and initials
Libro de Horas de los Siete Pecados Capitales

Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins

Portrait of Matthew the Evangelist

Evangelist portraits are rare for a book of hours and are just one of the unique features of this manuscript. Set amidst a busy frame filled with colorful winding tendrils, this miniature depicts the Apostle Matthew as he writes his Gospel. The scene is set within a luxurious bedchamber with a wonderfully patterned tile floor and a luxurious red canopy bed.

Sitting at a writing desk that shines brilliantly with gold, Matthew is depicted as a 15th century cleric wearing a red tunic, also accented with gold, with a blue scarf and hat. An angel, his Evangelist symbol, sits on the ground next to him with a banderole bearing his name and holds up his inkwell, indicating the divine inspiration with which the first book of the New Testament was written.

1 available facsimile edition(s) of „Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins“

Libro de Horas de los Siete Pecados Capitales
Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins – Vit. 24-10 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins – Vit. 24-10 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins – Vit. 24-10 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins – Vit. 24-10 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins – Vit. 24-10 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins – Vit. 24-10 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins – Vit. 24-10 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins – Vit. 24-10 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins – Vit. 24-10 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins – Vit. 24-10 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins – Vit. 24-10 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins – Vit. 24-10 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins – Vit. 24-10 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins – Vit. 24-10 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins – Vit. 24-10 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins – Vit. 24-10 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins – Vit. 24-10 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins – Vit. 24-10 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins – Vit. 24-10 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins – Vit. 24-10 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins – Vit. 24-10 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins – Vit. 24-10 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins – Vit. 24-10 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins – Vit. 24-10 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins – Vit. 24-10 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins – Vit. 24-10 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Book of Hours of the Seven Deadly Sins – Vit. 24-10 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
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Libro de Horas de los Siete Pecados Capitales

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
AyN Ediciones – Madrid
Limited Edition
995 copies
Binding
Leather
Commentary
1 volume by Elisa Ruiz García, Gregorio Solera, Ana Domínguez and Josefina Planas Bádenas

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: €€€ (3,000€ - 7,000€)
Edition available
Price: Login here!
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