Employed at the court of three French kings: Jean Bourdichon and his Gothic masterpiece

Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon

France — Second half of the 15th century

Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon

Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon

France — Second half of the 15th century

  1. This masterpiece by Jean Bourdichon (1457/59–1521) is one of the most beautiful codices in the world

  2. One of the greatest artists of the Renaissance, Bourdichon worked at the court of three French kings

  3. This masterpiece is one of the most technically perfect executions of the Gothic style

Offizium der Madonna - Stundenbuch des Jean Bourdichon (Standard Edition)

Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon

Portrait of Mark the Evangelist

Saint Mark is depicted writing his Gospel with a stylus in his right hand and a small pen knife in his left. A lion is shown in front of him with its front paws up on the table in the way one’s pet dog might eagerly indicate that it would like to go for a walk. Both figures are accented with gold, and Mark has a floral patterned collar made from cloth of gold. This atmospheric Evangelist portrait is a fine example of the refinement of the French Gothic style on the eve of the Renaissance.

Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon

Alternative Titles:
  • Office of the Blessed Virgin
  • Das Vatikanische Stundenbuch des Jean Bourdichon
  • Vatikanisches Stundenbuch Jean Bourdichons
  • Offzium der Madonna
Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon – Vat. lat. 3781 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon – Vat. lat. 3781 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon – Vat. lat. 3781 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon – Vat. lat. 3781 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon – Vat. lat. 3781 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon – Vat. lat. 3781 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon – Vat. lat. 3781 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon – Vat. lat. 3781 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon – Vat. lat. 3781 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon – Vat. lat. 3781 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon – Vat. lat. 3781 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon – Vat. lat. 3781 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon – Vat. lat. 3781 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon – Vat. lat. 3781 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon – Vat. lat. 3781 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon – Vat. lat. 3781 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon – Vat. lat. 3781 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon – Vat. lat. 3781 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon – Vat. lat. 3781 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon – Vat. lat. 3781 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon – Vat. lat. 3781 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon – Vat. lat. 3781 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon – Vat. lat. 3781 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon – Vat. lat. 3781 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon – Vat. lat. 3781 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
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  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology

Short Description

The Vatican Book of Hours arose in France in the second half of the 15th century and was produced by the gifted master Jean Bourdichon. The work is counted alongside Bourdichon’s Vatican Office of the Virgin among the artist’s best. It is decorated with 17 full-page miniatures and over 1,200 decorative initials.

Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon

Books of hours are private prayer and meditation books, which were widely distributed starting in the 13th century. The golden age for books of hours occurred in the late 14th and 15th centuries in France and Flanders. Arising then was one of the most beautiful handwritten codices in the world. Even today, the illuminated manuscripts of the talented French and Belgian masters are able to amaze their beholders. The Vatican Book of Hours by Jean Bourdichon is one of these special masterpieces. It is adorned with 17 full-page miniatures and over 1,200 decorated initials.

The French School

The Vatican Book of Hours was designed by the French illuminator Jean Bourdichon. Bourdichon produced some of the most important manuscripts of the early French Renaissance, for example, the outstanding Vatican Office of the Virgin. He worked as a painter at the courts of three French kings, including Charles VII. As one of the most influential painters of the early Renaissance, he oversaw the Tours School. The illumination of Bourdichon impresses through its unbelievable technical perfection.

Bewitching Book Decoration

At the beginning of the book of hours there is a calendar with original representations of the 12 signs of the zodiac. Four images of the evangelists and 13 additional full-page miniatures are impressive examples of the highly-developed fine painting of Bourdichon. The work arose in the second half of the 15th century and the images adhere to the Gothic style. The Vatican Book of Hours gives proof of the talent and artistry of Bourdichon in an exquisite manner.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Office of the Blessed Virgin
Das Vatikanische Stundenbuch des Jean Bourdichon
Vatikanisches Stundenbuch Jean Bourdichons
Offzium der Madonna
Size / Format
236 pages / 15.5 x 9.5 cm
Origin
France
Date
Second half of the 15th century
Style
Gothic
Language
Illustrations
17 full-page miniatures and more than 1200 initials
Artist / School
Offizium der Madonna - Stundenbuch des Jean Bourdichon (Standard Edition)

Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon

King David at Prayer

Most depictions of King David show him killing Goliath, composing Psalms, playing a harp, or spying on Bathsheba. This unusual depiction shows a middle-aged David in prayer, presumably before battle because he is armed and armored with a host encamped over his left shoulder. It stands in the medieval tradition of presenting the biblical David as an example of chivalry and good rule.

The miniature is a masterpiece of the French Gothic style with a rich floral frame inhabited by birds and insects that takes up half the page. It already exhibits influences from Renaissance Italy, especially with regard to the naturalism with which David himself is depicted as he gazes upward, hands folded in prayer, as rays of gold reach down to him from heaven.

2 available facsimile edition(s) of „Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon“

Offizium der Madonna - Stundenbuch des Jean Bourdichon (Standard Edition)
Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon – Vat. lat. 3781 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon – Vat. lat. 3781 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon – Vat. lat. 3781 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon – Vat. lat. 3781 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon – Vat. lat. 3781 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon – Vat. lat. 3781 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon – Vat. lat. 3781 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon – Vat. lat. 3781 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon – Vat. lat. 3781 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon – Vat. lat. 3781 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon – Vat. lat. 3781 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon – Vat. lat. 3781 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon – Vat. lat. 3781 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon – Vat. lat. 3781 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon – Vat. lat. 3781 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon – Vat. lat. 3781 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon – Vat. lat. 3781 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon – Vat. lat. 3781 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon – Vat. lat. 3781 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon – Vat. lat. 3781 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon – Vat. lat. 3781 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon – Vat. lat. 3781 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon – Vat. lat. 3781 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon – Vat. lat. 3781 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon – Vat. lat. 3781 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
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Offizium der Madonna - Stundenbuch des Jean Bourdichon (Standard Edition)

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Belser Verlag – Zurich, 1984
Limited Edition
-
Binding
Leather
Commentary
1 volume (136 pages) by Eberhard König
Language: German
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.
Regular price without login (like new)350 €
Login for a Better Price!
Offizium der Madonna - Stundenbuch des Jean Bourdichon (Limited Edition)
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Offizium der Madonna - Stundenbuch des Jean Bourdichon (Limited Edition)

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Belser Verlag – Zurich, 2008
Limited Edition
499 copies
Binding
Leather
Commentary
1 volume (136 pages) by Eberhard König
Language: German
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.
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