Illuminated by Gerard David: an expressive highpoint of 15th century Flemish book art

Liber Horarum by Gerard David

Bruges (Belgium) — 1484-1486

Liber Horarum by Gerard David

Liber Horarum by Gerard David

Bruges (Belgium) — 1484-1486

  1. A highpoint of 15th century Flemish illumination was decorated by Gerard David (ca. 1460-1523) inter alia

  2. Biblical scenes are set in decorative frames with flowers, fruits, small animals, insects, and grotesques

  3. The miniatures impress with their profound expressiveness, wonderfully evoking powerful feelings

Liber Horarum de Gerard David

Liber Horarum by Gerard David

Massacre of the Innocents

It is said that the original martyrs were the innocent little boys that were slaughtered on the orders of King Herod, and the look of horror on this mother’s face is unmistakable. “Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men.” (Matt. 2:16).

Liber Horarum by Gerard David

Alternative Titles:
  • Gerard David Book of Hours
  • Liber Horarum de Gerard David
  • Liber Horarum von 1486
  • Gerard David Stundenbuch
Liber Horarum by Gerard David – MS Vitrinas 12 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Liber Horarum by Gerard David – MS Vitrinas 12 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Liber Horarum by Gerard David – MS Vitrinas 12 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Liber Horarum by Gerard David – MS Vitrinas 12 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Liber Horarum by Gerard David – MS Vitrinas 12 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Liber Horarum by Gerard David – MS Vitrinas 12 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Liber Horarum by Gerard David – MS Vitrinas 12 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Liber Horarum by Gerard David – MS Vitrinas 12 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Liber Horarum by Gerard David – MS Vitrinas 12 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Liber Horarum by Gerard David – MS Vitrinas 12 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Liber Horarum by Gerard David – MS Vitrinas 12 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Liber Horarum by Gerard David – MS Vitrinas 12 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Liber Horarum by Gerard David – MS Vitrinas 12 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Liber Horarum by Gerard David – MS Vitrinas 12 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Liber Horarum by Gerard David – MS Vitrinas 12 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Liber Horarum by Gerard David – MS Vitrinas 12 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Liber Horarum by Gerard David – MS Vitrinas 12 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Liber Horarum by Gerard David – MS Vitrinas 12 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Liber Horarum by Gerard David – MS Vitrinas 12 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
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  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology

Short Description

A highpoint of 15th century Flemish illumination: the Liber Horarum by Gerard David! The eponym of this splendid manuscript was the miniaturist Gerard David, who contributed 15 miniatures to the visual adornment. Gerard David is one of the most important Flemish artists of his time. Primarily active as a panel painter, he also created some of the finest illumination that late-15th century Flemish manuscripts had to offer. The so-called Liber Horarum by Gerard David enchants with its quintessentially high-quality artistic decoration.

Liber Horarum by Gerard David

A highpoint of 15th century Flemish illumination: the Liber Horarum by Gerard David **! The eponym of this splendid manuscript was the miniaturist **Gerard David, who contributed 15 miniatures to the visual adornment. Gerard David is one of the most important Flemish artists of his time. Primarily active as a panel painter, he also created some of the finest illumination that late-15th century Flemish manuscripts had to offer. The so-called Liber Horarum by Gerard David enchants with its quintessentially high-quality artistic decoration.

A Noble Cover and Exuberant Splendor

The noble exterior of the manuscript already indicates its splendid content. A dark-brown leather cover with terrific embossing and gorgeous silver claps protects the gem. When one opens the book, a true blaze of color gushes over all the pages! Handsome miniatures of biblical scenes are framed by broad decorative frames. These are filled with the most gorgeous depictions of flowers, fruits, small animals, and insects, but also grotesque figures of fantasy. The pages of text are resplendent with numerous small, colorful initials – depicted in blue, red, and gold and gorgeously designed – in addition to the large historiated initials made of artfully ornamental patterns.

The Master Miniaturist

This splendor largely comes from the hand of a gifted artist. Gerard David (ca. 1455-1523) is considered to be the last great Flemish illuminator of his time. The reputation of Bruges painting grew exuberantly with such great names as Jan van Eyck and Simon Bening. David, who learned his craft from Hans Memling, was actually active as a panel painter. Nevertheless, he is also known for several high-quality miniatures, which he made for important patrons. These make Gerard David one of the most important miniaturists from Bruges at the turn of the 16th century.

A Testimonial to the Art of the Ghent-Bruges School

The so-called Liber Horarum by Gerard David can be found today in the famous library of El Escorial. It is a small, personal book of hours measuring 15.7 x 11.5 cm. The year 1486, which is recorded in the frame of the miniature of St. Lazarus, indicates that the prayer book originated during the beginning of David’s career in Bruges. The 470 pages of the manuscript are adorned with 37 miniatures altogether. 15 of these 37 miniatures come from the hand of Gerard David. The rest are based on works by famous Flemish miniaturists like the Master of the Dresden Book of Hours, the Master of Edward IV of England, and other artists from the Ghent-Bruges school.

The Wonderful Miniatures

At the same time, the miniatures impress with their profound expressiveness and the high artistic quality of the painting. Beholding the pictures evokes powerful feelings in a wonderful way. Additionally, the composition of the scenes, their grandiose perceptivity, is a sign of the outstanding quality of this illumination. The miniature at the beginning of the book of the Madonna with Child is particularly beautiful, it appears deeply immersed and introverted. With her left hand, which peeks out of a sumptuous blue cloak, she extends a graceful flowering twig to the Christ child in her right hand. This perfectly through-composed miniature comes from the hand of Gerard David and is only one of the grandiose testimonials of his art!

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Gerard David Book of Hours
Liber Horarum de Gerard David
Liber Horarum von 1486
Gerard David Stundenbuch
Size / Format
470 pages / 15.7 x 11.5 cm
Date
1484-1486
Language
Illustrations
37 miniatures, 15 of these are full-page by Gerard David
Artist / School
Liber Horarum de Gerard David

Liber Horarum by Gerard David

Madonna with Child

This magnificent miniature is as artistically refined as Gerard David’s panel paintings and is a fine example of his masterful use of light and shadow. It is a beautiful, atmospheric scene with an intimate aesthetic and perfect composition. The Virgin Mary’s left hand sticks out from under her sumptuous blue cloak, highlighted with gold pen strokes, and holds out a flower to the baby Jesus.

Rather than having individual halos, both mother and child share a subtly-drawn golden aura. This introverted miniature is wonderfully contrasted by its exuberant golden frame, which is filled with red carnations, white lilies, blue irises and bell flowers, and more. A bird and various insects round out this gorgeous marginalia.

1 available facsimile edition(s) of „Liber Horarum by Gerard David“

Liber Horarum de Gerard David
Liber Horarum by Gerard David – MS Vitrinas 12 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Liber Horarum by Gerard David – MS Vitrinas 12 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Liber Horarum by Gerard David – MS Vitrinas 12 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Liber Horarum by Gerard David – MS Vitrinas 12 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Liber Horarum by Gerard David – MS Vitrinas 12 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Liber Horarum by Gerard David – MS Vitrinas 12 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Liber Horarum by Gerard David – MS Vitrinas 12 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Liber Horarum by Gerard David – MS Vitrinas 12 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Liber Horarum by Gerard David – MS Vitrinas 12 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Liber Horarum by Gerard David – MS Vitrinas 12 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Liber Horarum by Gerard David – MS Vitrinas 12 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Liber Horarum by Gerard David – MS Vitrinas 12 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Liber Horarum by Gerard David – MS Vitrinas 12 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Liber Horarum by Gerard David – MS Vitrinas 12 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Liber Horarum by Gerard David – MS Vitrinas 12 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Liber Horarum by Gerard David – MS Vitrinas 12 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Liber Horarum by Gerard David – MS Vitrinas 12 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Liber Horarum by Gerard David – MS Vitrinas 12 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Liber Horarum by Gerard David – MS Vitrinas 12 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
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Liber Horarum de Gerard David

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Testimonio Compañía Editorial – Madrid, 1998-2003
Limited Edition
980
Binding
Hand sewn. Bound in brown leather. Dry stamping on both sides like the original motif. Silvered clamps with inscription as they appear in the original.
Commentary
1 volume (204 pages)
Language: Spanish
Regular price without login (like new)2,090 €
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