With influences from Willem Vrelant: a magnificent book of hours with miniatures such as altarpieces and triptychs

Hours of the Virgin Mary

Bruges (Belgium) — ca. 1450

Hours of the Virgin Mary

Hours of the Virgin Mary

Bruges (Belgium) — ca. 1450

  1. This small work of art is a fine specimen of 15th century Flemish illumination, arguably the zenith of medieval book art

  2. The miniatures exhibit influences from the great masters Hans Memling (ca. 1430–94) and Willem Vrelant (d. 1481/82)

  3. The manuscript was likely made in Bruges, but little else is known about the origins of this fine work of art

Hours of the Virgin Mary

Alternative Titles:
  • Horas de la Virgen María
  • Stundenbuch der Jungfrau Maria
Hours of the Virgin Mary
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  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology

Short Description

The book of hours has survived to the present in greater numbers than any other type of medieval manuscript thanks to their tremendous popularity in the Late Middle Ages. This also corresponded to a time when Flanders emerged as an important center of artistic production that was extremely influential in terms of style. This 15th century book of hours likely originated from the Flemish metropolis of Bruges, homes to generations of famous masters. Although the details of this manuscript’s origins remain mysterious, the refined décor exhibits influences from Hans Memling and Willem Vrelant.

Hours of the Virgin Mary

During the Late Middle Ages, the book of hours emerged as the most popular form of manuscript. These small, personalized prayer books were carried on one’s person, usually in a small bag or attached to the belt, as a sign of one’s prosperity as well as piety and as such were adorned with luxury bindings in addition to the rich artistic furnishings of its pages with expensive paints and gold leaf. Their growing popularity was a sign of greater individual autonomy and private piety – both factors in the emerging movements of Humanism and the Reformation. This book of hours contains the Latin text of the Hours of the Virgin, consisting of the various “Hours” or prayers to be said at certain times of day: Matins, Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers, and Compline. These usually consisted of Psalms in combination with various prayers, hymns, and readings. Eight full-page miniatures, one for each of the first seven hours with the last corresponding to the Office of the Dead, all of them in rich double-pages with sumptuous initials and floral borders resembling altarpieces and triptychs. This small work of art is a fine specimen of 15th century Flemish illumination, arguably the zenith of medieval book art. It likely originated from Bruges, which was the economic and artistic heart of Flanders at the time. The miniatures exhibit the influence of the great masters Hans Memling (ca. 1430–94) and Willem Vrelant (d. 1481/82), even if their artists cannot be identified with certainty. All of this artistic grandeur is contained in a luxury leather binding with gold embossing.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Horas de la Virgen María
Stundenbuch der Jungfrau Maria
Date
ca. 1450
Illustrations
8 full-page miniatures
Artist / School

1 available facsimile edition(s) of „Hours of the Virgin Mary “

Horas de la Virgen María
Hours of the Virgin Mary
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Horas de la Virgen María

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Circulo Cientifico – Madrid, 2005
Limited Edition
250 copies
Commentary
1 volume by Javier Docampo, Felisindo Basteiro
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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