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Book of Hours

Horæ Beatæ Mariæ Virginis

Vellum leaf from an illuminated Medieval Manuscript
France; Middle 15th Century
Latin Text; Angular Gothic Script
18 by 13.5 cm

It is generally no great task to assign these illuminated Books of Hours to a particular country or period. The treatment of the ivy spray with the single line stem and rather sparse foliage is characteristic of the work of the French monastic scribes about the year 1450 A.D. The occasional appearance of the strawberry indicates that the illuminating was done by a Benedictine monk. Fifty years earlier the stem would have been wider and colored, and the foliage rich; fifty years later the ivy and holly leaves would be entangled with flowers and acanthus foliage.


Manuscripts | Cary Collection