Labors of the months and signs of the zodiac in wonderful medallions in a gold-decorated calendar manuscript

Livre de Laudes et Dèvotions

France — Mid 15th century

Livre de Laudes et Dèvotions

Livre de Laudes et Dèvotions

France — Mid 15th century

  1. This late-Gothic French prayer book reproduces every twelve months on double pages

  2. Each month is decorated with two small miniatures: labors of the months and signs of the zodiac

  3. One can see the grain harvest, the wine crush, and a man warming up with his dog by the fire among other scenes

Livre de Laudes et Dèvotions

Alternative Titles:
  • Calendario del Livre de Laudes et Dèvotions
  • Buch der Lobgesänge und Andacht
Livre de Laudes et Dèvotions – JB. II. 21Bis – Archivio di Stato di Torino - Museo dell'Archivio di Corte (Turin, Italy)
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  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology

Short Description

The gorgeous calendar from this late-Gothic French prayer book makes the beholder aware of the grandiose illumination of this period. Each of the twelve months has a double-page dedicated to it, furnished with thematically-suitable miniatures of the agricultural year and the zodiac signs, broad ornamental frames, and additional book ornamentation. Furthermore, Flemish influences are clearly recognizable throughout this exceedingly high-quality artistic décor. A marvelous example of calendar pages in late-medieval books of hours!

Livre de Laudes et Dèvotions

The gorgeous calendar from a late-Gothic French prayer book makes the beholder aware of the grandiose illumination of this period. Each of the twelve months has a double-page dedicated to it, furnished with thematically-suitable miniatures of the agricultural year and the zodiac signs, broad ornamental frames, and additional book ornamentation. Furthermore, Flemish influences are clearly recognizable throughout this exceedingly high-quality artistic décor. A marvelous example of calendar pages in late-medieval books of hours!

The Holidays of the Church Year

Nearly all of the precious prayer books of the Middle Ages were furnished with a calendar. The most important holidays and feast days of the church year could be read therefrom. Additionally, these calendar pages offered a wonderful opportunity to depict a wide array of non-biblical scenes. The most popular were motifs of the agricultural year with motifs of seeding, haymaking, or the pressing of wine. The months were additionally decorated with zodiac symbols in these marvelous books of hours. Both of these exact motif-cycles are found in the gorgeous calendar of a French book of hours, which is housed today in the collection of the house of Savoy in Turin.

A French Masterpiece?

The manuscript, which contains the calendar pages, was made in France around the middle of the 15th century, probably ca. 1430-40. Various indications allow us to assume that it was a commission for the Bishopric of Sens. The pages of the manuscript – the calendars in particular – are illuminated with outstanding artistry in the late-Gothic French style, whereby Flemish influences are also discernable. The book decoration is presented in exceptional quality, which is reminiscent of the greatest masters of 15th century illumination!

Lion, Damsel, Scales…

Lavish and embellishing Fleuronné ornamentation in broad bordures surround the text in a rectangular field at the center of the page. Each month is additionally adorned with two small miniatures: depictions of the agricultural year and the signs of the zodiac. One thus finds alongside a depiction of the grain harvest in autumn, inter alia, the pressing of wine and a scene with a man who, along with a dog, is warming himself before a fireplace. A splendid lion in a majestic landscape, the scales in the hands of a distinguished lady before a wonderfully ornamented background, and other elegant miniatures present the signs of the zodiac.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Calendario del Livre de Laudes et Dèvotions
Buch der Lobgesänge und Andacht
Size / Format
34 pages / 30.0 x 21.0 cm
Origin
France
Date
Mid 15th century
Style
Gothic
Language
Illustrations
24 arch-shaped illustrations (2 for each month)
Artist / School
Previous Owners

1 available facsimile edition(s) of „Livre de Laudes et Dèvotions“

Calendario del Livre de Laudes et Dèvotions
Livre de Laudes et Dèvotions – JB. II. 21Bis – Archivio di Stato di Torino - Museo dell'Archivio di Corte (Turin, Italy)
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Calendario del Livre de Laudes et Dèvotions

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Trident Editore – Castel Guelfo, 2005
Limited Edition
299 copies
Binding
Leather
Commentary
1 volume
Language: Italian
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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