Leaves From Famous Books of Hours

Leaves From Famous Books of Hours Facsimile Edition

Paris (France); Bruges (Belgium) and others — 14th–16th century

Stunning book art from libraries around the world: a diverse collection of masterful miniatures from some of the most famous and sophisticated books of hours of the Middle Ages

  1. Books of hours contain prayers for specific times of day, called offices, as part of public church services

  2. Meant to be carried on one’s person throughout the day, they were expressions of piety, sophistication, and wealth

  3. These eleven sheets offer some of the finest specimens of miniatures from books of hours that have survived the Middle Ages

Leaves From Famous Books of Hours

  1. Description
  2. Detail Picture
  3. Single Page
  4. Facsimile Editions (1)
Description
Leaves From Famous Books of Hours

No other genre of medieval manuscript was produced nor has survived in numbers to rival the book of hours. These small devotional texts contained requisite texts for prayers throughout the day, either as part of a mass or said in private prayer. Although religious in nature, books of hours were mostly produced for lay patrons by lay artists working in urban studios. As a result, they reflect both the tastes of their patrons and the style of the artists who made them. These codices range from humble prayer books to spectacular works of art created by the greatest masters of their day for the highest-ranking members of the nobility.

Leaves from Famous Books of Hours

The book of hours was among the most popular subjects for medieval illuminated manuscripts. Personal devotional codices were the most popular kind of manuscript during the Late Middle Ages, when book production and artistry reached its zenith, and as such they are the most common type of medieval manuscript to survive to the present. The production of books of hours mainly occurred in the ateliers of secular artists. A book of hours was meant to be carried on one’s person throughout the day and intended as an aide for participating in public church services. Moreover, their name comes from the fact that they contain prayers for specific times of day, called offices. The book of hours was a central part of daily life for those possessing the proper piety and wealth, some of which are considered to be true masterpieces of medieval illumination and occidental art as a whole, and were the commissions of royals and the wealthiest members of society.
These eleven folios represent some of the finest specimens of books of hours to survive the Middle Ages:
1. Initial Page “D”, Grey-Fitz Payne Book of Hours, England, ca. 1300/08
2. “The Three Lives and the Three Deaths”, Hours of the Bonne de Luxembourg, Paris, 1st half of the 14th century
3. “Flight to Egypt”, Hours of Marschall Jean de Boucicault, Paris, early-15th century
4. “The Duke of Berry at the Dinner Table”, Les très riches heures du Duc de Berry, Paris, 1411/16
5. “Jesus in Gethsemane”, Les très riches heures du Duc de Berry, Paris, 1411/16
6. “Annunciation with coat of arms and initial H”, Stephan Lochner Prayer Book of 1451, Cologne, ca. 1451
7. “The Creation of Eve”, Visconti Book of Hours, Upper Italy, ca. 1431/40
8. “St. Margaret and Olibrius”, Hours of Etienne Chevalier, Tours, ca. 1453
9. “Laudate Dominum”, Sforza Hours, Upper Italy, ca. 1490
10. “Saint Katherine”, Hastings Book of Hours, Flanders, late-15th century
11. “The Tower of Babel”, Breviarium Grimani, Ghent and Bruges, 1510–20

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Kassette Stundenbücher
Origin
France
Date
14th–16th century
Illustrations
11 gorgeous miniatures from different books of hours
Content
Eleven leaves from important manuscripts

Available facsimile editions:
Leaves From Famous Books of Hours – Several Owners Facsimile Edition
Coron Verlag – Gütersloh, 1979
Limited Edition: 1495 copies
Detail Picture

Les Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry

January: New Year’s Feast

The New Year called for celebration and thus months’ labors were usually replaced by scenes of feasting in January, such as in this splendid miniature created by the famous Limbourg Brothers. The Duke of Berry, seated at the bottom right, is splendidly dressed in blue and wearing a fur cap. His family and vassals are encouraged to greet him by the inscription behind his guard reading "Approche Approche". Small dogs are grazing for food on the table, a greyhound is fed on the ground.

Kassette Stundenbücher
Single Page

Breviarium Grimani

Tower of Babel

Possibly created by the great master Gerard Horenbout, this depiction of the biblical Tower of Babel was extremely influential on the succeeding generation of artists such as Pieter Bruegel the Elder. It is a wonderful composition that imagines the construction of an ancient tower meant to reach Heaven in the context of Renaissance Europe. The figures in the foreground are depicted in the fashions of early–16th century France.

The artist appears to make an honest effort of imagining how such a structure might be built, this miniature is incredibly detailed and shows numerous wagons bringing fresh-cut stones to be lifted by Roman-style cranes. Situated on a harbor, ships are also shown bring materials to the construction site.

Kassette Stundenbücher
Facsimile Editions

#1 Kassette Stundenbücher

Coron Verlag – Gütersloh, 1979

Publisher: Coron Verlag – Gütersloh, 1979
Limited Edition: 1495 copies
Binding: Box
Commentary: 1 volume
Language: German
1 volume: 11 leaves under passe-partouts: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size) 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.
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