From an unknown master of the Ghent-Bruges School: a masterpiece of the Vatican Library

Vatican Library Book of Hours

Ghent or Bruges (Belgium) — End of the 15th century / Beginning of the 16th century

Vatican Library Book of Hours

Vatican Library Book of Hours

Ghent or Bruges (Belgium) — End of the 15th century / Beginning of the 16th century

  1. Despite the artistic quality and importance of this gem of illumination, the artist remains anonymous

  2. Robert Champin, Jan Van Eyck, Hugo van der Goes, or Gerard David have been hypothesized in research

  3. Even without a proper classification, this prayer book of the Ghent-Bruges School is one of the finest in the Vatican Library

Vatican Library Book of Hours

Alternative Titles:
  • Libro ilustrado de oraciones
  • Libro de Horas del Vaticano
  • Vatikan-Stundenbuch
Vatican Library Book of Hours – Vat. Lat. 3768 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Library Book of Hours – Vat. Lat. 3768 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Library Book of Hours – Vat. Lat. 3768 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Library Book of Hours – Vat. Lat. 3768 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Library Book of Hours – Vat. Lat. 3768 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Imageof
Price Category: €€ (1,000€ - 3,000€)
Edition available
Price: Login here!
  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology

Short Description

The so-called Vatican Library Book of Hours has kept the secret of its thoroughly talented artist to this day. As one of three parts, in which the comprehensive manuscript is divided today, the book of hours represents a small treasure from the valuable collections of the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana. A total of 18 miniatures attest to the outstanding artistry of the Flemish miniaturist, such great names as Robert Campin, Jan Van Eyck, Hugo van der Goes, and Gerard David have been conjectured. Originating from around the turn of the 16th century, the paintings impress through their marvelous spatiality and the fineness of the brushstrokes, but also through the luminosity of the sumptuous colors and the exceptional inventiveness of the masters who realized them!

Vatican Library Book of Hours

The so-called Vatican Library Book of Hours has kept the secret of its thoroughly talented artist to this day. As one of three parts, in which the comprehensive manuscript is divided today, the book of hours represents a small treasure from the valuable collections of the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana. A total of 18 miniatures attest to the outstanding artistry of the Flemish miniaturist, such great names as Robert Campin, Jan Van Eyck, Hugo van der Goes, and Gerard David have been conjectured. Originating from around the turn of the 16th century, the paintings impress through their marvelous spatiality and the fineness of the brushstrokes, but also through the luminosity of the sumptuous colors and the exceptional inventiveness of the masters who realized them!

Only One Part of a Great Treasure

The Vatican Library Book of Hours is a part of a manuscript that is divided into three pieces today: is it stored under the shelf mark Vat.lat. 3768 along with both of the others – Vat.lat. 3769 and the famous Horenbout Book of Hours – in the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana. The equally-famous Horenbout Book of Hours has also been attributed to the so-called Master of James IV of Scotland. Nonetheless, the Vatican Library Book of Hours keeps the secret of its talented artists to this day!

The Impressive Miniatures of a True Master

Five full-page and 13 additional miniatures are contained in the book of hours’ 338 pages measuring 21.2. x 15.8 cm. Stylistically speaking, these are clearly Flemish and probably come from Ghent or Bruges. Gorgeous original scenes worthy of a larger execution as a panel painting illustrate the text. Thus one finds, inter alia, the depiction of a (funeral) procession of clerics with a precious shrine or a casket in their midst. The procession of honorably strident men in liturgical robes extends in an artfully-arranged procession before the portal of a church. A Flemish cityscape with splendid homes can be seen in the background. Another miniature shows the scene of a confession in a Gothic church space. Additional men and women kneel respectively alongside a cleric and are immersed in confession. Altars, pillars, and a baptismal font in the middle of the choir room adorn the terrific view of the impressive Gothic architecture!

The Mystery Surrounding the Miniatures

The period of origin at the turn of the 16th century in combination with the outstanding miniature paintings points to a gifted and probably also famous miniaturist. Such names a Robert Champin, Jan Van Eyck, Hugo van der Goes, or Gerard David have been hypothesized in research as the artist responsible for the Vatican Library Book of Hours! This precious codex, which does not merely follow the typical form for a book of hours, thus holds a secret that makes it a significant piece of art history and Flemish illumination.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Libro ilustrado de oraciones
Libro de Horas del Vaticano
Vatikan-Stundenbuch
Size / Format
338 pages / 21.2 x 15.8 cm
Date
End of the 15th century / Beginning of the 16th century
Language
Illustrations
5 full-page and 13 smaller miniatures. Each page with illuminated margins
Artist / School

1 available facsimile edition(s) of „Vatican Library Book of Hours“

Libro de Horas del Vaticano
Vatican Library Book of Hours – Vat. Lat. 3768 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Library Book of Hours – Vat. Lat. 3768 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Library Book of Hours – Vat. Lat. 3768 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Library Book of Hours – Vat. Lat. 3768 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vatican Library Book of Hours – Vat. Lat. 3768 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Imageof

Libro de Horas del Vaticano

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Testimonio Compañía Editorial – Madrid, 2009
Limited Edition
980 copies
Binding
Bound in full leather with generous blind stamping
Commentary
1 volume by Jorge Cardenal Mijía
Language: Spanish
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: €€ (1,000€ - 3,000€)
Edition available
Price: Login here!
  1. Matching Works
  2. Matching Background Articles

Matching Works

Geert Groote - Getijdenboek

Geert Groote - Getijdenboek

A calendar, Geert Groote's Getijdenboek, and the growing influence of the Renaissance: a prayer book in the language of Central Holland with imaginative décor on almost every page

Experience More
Missale Remense

Missale Remense

100+ luminous miniatures: one of the most beautiful illuminated manuscripts of the French High Gothic

Experience More

Matching Background Articles

Publisher