Turin-Milan Hours

Turin-Milan Hours

Paris, Bourges (France); The Hague (Netherlands); Bruges (Belgium) — Between 1380/90 and 1420

An extraordinary and magnificent book treasure, even after its division into three works: Jan van Eyck's magnificent masterpiece for Jean Duc de Berry

  1. The *Très Belles Heures*, *Turin-Milan Hours*, and now-burned *Turin Book of Hours* originally comprised a single work

  2. Inter alia Jan van Eyck (ca. 1390–1441) is believed to have contributed to the work as a young man

  3. It was commissioned ca. 1380 by Jean Duke of Berry (1340–1416), one of the greatest art patrons in history

Turin-Milan Hours

Price Category: €€ (1,000€ - 3,000€)
Edition available
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  1. Description
  2. Detail Picture
  3. Single Page
  4. Facsimile Editions (3)
Description
Turin-Milan Hours

An astounding book project was commissioned by the Burgundian Duke Jean de Berry shortly before 1400. It was a book of hours that was created by the greatest artists of Europe over a period of time that spanned half a century. The so-called Turin-Milan Hours, which was made between 1380 and 1440 and was continuously divided into fragments and brought back together, is an incomparable milestone of Gothic book art. Probably participating in the unbelievably high-quality furnishing of the codex, among others, was Jan van Eyck. They are the only book illustrations that the great Old Dutch Master created in his carrier.

Turin-Milan Hours

Hidden behind the simple title of the so-called Turin-Milan Hours is hidden a handwritten and illuminated codex which possesses a unique position in the history of mediaeval manuscripts. Over the course of time, it was continuously divided into fragments and found itself in the possession of the most important noble houses in Europe. The book gained its title from its then-residence in the house of Savoy, the ruling house of Milan, where it emerged from the National Library of Turin. The work combines the stylistic elements of two books of hours, one of which bore the title Très Belles Heures de Notre-Dame and the other Heures de Turini. It is an incomparable, unique prayer book and missal, which was fashioned by a collection of the greatest artists of the Middle Ages over a time period comprising multiple generations. The book of hours contains 28 impressive, full-page miniatures. Particular fame was achieved by several miniatures that were probably created by Jan van Eyck – the founder of portrait art and father of the great Old Dutch painting-style.

The Origin Story of the Masterpiece

The Turin-Milan Hours was produced sometime between 1380/90 and the 1440’s in Paris and Flanders. Originally, the book of hours was an underlying part of the monumental work that had been commissioned by the Burgundian Duke Jean de Berry, namely the Très Belles Heures de Notre-Dame. Two unbelievably-talented illuminators saw to the furnishing of this work until the death of the duke in the year 1416. By way of inheritance, the incomplete work reached the possession of Count Johann von Holland, who commissioned Jan van Eyck with its completion. Only a short time later, he was appointed to the court of Philip the Good, where he continued to grapple with the monumental project. Van Eyck’s death in the year 1441 abruptly ended work on the book of hours. In order to pay tribute to the great artist and to properly esteem his work, Duke Philip commissioned a further, obscure painter from Flanders who completed the codex according to the stylistic examples of van Eyck.

The Top Lineup of Illuminators

The most diverse theories exist about the illuminators of the 28 miniature pages. One of the artists, who devoted himself to the manuscript in the last quarter of the 14th century, is identified with the name of convenience “Master of the Parament of Narbonne”. A few miniatures were made in a particularly sophisticated painting technique, the so-called grisaille painting-style. These pictures were produced by an artist known as “Master G”. Hidden behind the mysterious Master G is most probably Jan van Eyck. The unmistakable depictions definitely mirror the style of the important artist. The brothers of van Eyck, Barthélemy and Hubert van Eyck, probably took part in the creation of the codex. There exists no other work from this historical epoch that was worked on by such an astounding artistic collective.

Historically Significant Illumination

The Turin-Milan Hours is an absolute magnum opus of Gothic illumination**. Some of the miniatures are counted among the most beautiful examples of Late-Gothic painting in France, while others demonstrate a revolutionary, illusionist style. These very same new kinds of depictions founded the Old Dutch Style of painting, which is **still of immeasurable significance for art history. The pictures ascribed to Jan van Eyck particularly astound historians and historically-interested book-lovers. They show the legendary abilities of the artist, which lend a higher meaning to everyday spaces with the help of masterfully integrated light reflections in the paintings. At the same time, it was van Eyck who first understood how to create realistic portraits. Furthermore, he led painting toward a microscopically exact reflection of reality. The significance of the *Turin-Milan Hours for the history of book art is irreplaceable.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Turin-Mailänder Stundenbuch
Libro d'ore di Torino-Milano
Size / Format
252 pages / 28.4 × 20.3 cm
Origin
France
Date
Between 1380/90 and 1420
Language
Illustrations
28 pages of miniatures
Artist / School
Previous Owners
Robinet D'Estampes
House of Bavaria-Holland
House of Savoy
Prince Gian Giacomo Trivulzio

Available facsimile editions:
Turin-Milan Hours – Inv.No. 47 – Museo Civico d'Arte Antica (Turin, Italy)
Faksimile Verlag – Lucerne, 1995
Limited Edition: 980 copies (199 of which sold in Italy by UTET)

Blätter im Louvre (Collection)
Faksimile Verlag – Lucerne, 1994
Limited Edition: 980 copies (199 of which sold in Italy by UTET)

Turin-Mailänder Stundenbuch
De Agostini/UTET – Rome/Turin, 2005
Limited Edition: 199 copies (co-edition with Faksimile Verlag)
Detail Picture

Turin-Milan Hours

Judas Receives Thirty Pieces of Silver

Treachery is afoot despite the cozy setting of this room with Gothic windows, a roaring fire, and dogs. The richly dressed figures are conspiring against Jesus and the bareheaded man is Judas, shown receiving his infamous bribe: “Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, ‘What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?’ And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver. So from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him.” (Rev. 26:14-15)

Turin-Mailänder Stundenbuch
Single Page

Turin-Milan Hours

Birth of John the Baptist

This miniature is a splendid sample of the magnum opus of Gothic illumination at hand. The scene is depicted in a richly furnished interior by the “Hand G”, believed to be Jan van Eyck, and is distinguished by its detail, subtlety, and illusionist realism. The bas-de-page miniature depicts Jesus’s baptism in a gorgeous landscape with a Gothic castle across the River Jordan.

The primary miniature makes wonderful use of perspective that extends into the next room, where a man in a red hat is reading. Baby John’s halo is rendered by delicate strokes of gold ink, and the cardinal-red of his birthing bed is magnetic. Aside from the various everyday objects, one sees a stained glass window, a dog with a bone, a cat drinking milk, and a toddler playing.

Turin-Mailänder Stundenbuch
Facsimile Editions

#1 Turin-Mailänder Stundenbuch

Faksimile Verlag – Lucerne, 1995
Turin-Milan Hours – Inv.No. 47 – Museo Civico d'Arte Antica (Turin, Italy)
Turin-Milan Hours – Inv.No. 47 – Museo Civico d'Arte Antica (Turin, Italy) Copyright Photos: Ziereis Facsimiles

Publisher: Faksimile Verlag – Lucerne, 1995
Limited Edition: 980 copies (199 of which sold in Italy by UTET)
Binding: The codex is bound in green velvet and decorated with fine gold embossing. The headband was hand sewn.
Commentary: 1 volume by James H. Marrow, Silvana Pettenati and Anne H. Buren
1 volume: 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.
Price Category: €€ (1,000€ - 3,000€)
Edition available
Price: Login here!

#2 Blätter im Louvre (Collection)

Faksimile Verlag – Lucerne, 1994

Publisher: Faksimile Verlag – Lucerne, 1994
Limited Edition: 980 copies (199 of which sold in Italy by UTET)
Commentary: 1 volume by Eberhard König, Gabriele Bartz, Angelo Giaccaria and François Huot
Languages: German, French
2 volumes: This facsimile is not complete. Reproduction of the four leaves at Musée du Louvre (RF 2022-2025) as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding. The facsimile edition also includes black and white reproductions of the leaves in the Biblioteca Nazionale Universitaria di Torino (Hs. K.IV.29).

#3 Turin-Mailänder Stundenbuch

De Agostini/UTET – Rome/Turin, 2005

Publisher: De Agostini/UTET – Rome/Turin, 2005
Limited Edition: 199 copies (co-edition with Faksimile Verlag)
Binding: The codex is bound in green velvet and decorated with fine gold embossing. The headband was hand sewn.
Commentary: 1 volume by James H. Marrow, Silvana Pettenati and Anne H. Buren
Language: Italian
1 volume: 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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