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Book of Hours

Horæ Beatæ Mariæ Virginis

Vellum leaf from an illuminated Medieval Manuscript
Northern France; Late 15th Century
Latin Text; Gothic Script
16 by 12 cm

The Book of Hours, the prayer book of laity, usually contains 16 sections. The section on prayers to the Virgin is the most important and most used, and its manuscripts exceed in number all other 15th century religious texts. The laymen who ordered and purchased these books would at times stipulate the style of ornament and the amount of burnished gold to be used, and could even, to a certain extent, select the saints they esteemed most and wished to glorify. In this example, the border reveals by its wayside flowers entangled with the heavy acanthus motif of the North and by the use of "wash" gold that it was executed in Northern France about 1475 A.D.
Keywords: 1400s, Book of Hours, decoration, France, formal, gothic, initials, script

Manuscripts | Cary Collection