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Books of Hours

Books of Hours Books of Hours
Medieval manuscript Book of Hours were personal prayer books used by the laity. They mostly include a calendar showing feast and saint's days, which are often featured in red ink giving us the expression ‘red letter days'. The miniatures depict scenes from the Bible and the initial letters of the text are often highly decorative. The Rodez Book of Hours is from Provence and some of the text is in Latin and some in Provencal. It dates from the 14th century and is extremely rare.
 
 
(Dutch Book of Hours)
Illuminated manuscript
c. 1440
 
Medieval illuminated manuscript with decorations in blue and red. Devotional book - Hours of the Blessed Virgin Mary, with calendar. Five large initials in thick gold leaf introduce the main sections and the borders are ornamented with birds and flowers. Written in Dutch (Netherlandish), for the use of the diocese of Utrecht, on vellum of fine quality. Owned at one time by the Plantin family of printers in Belgium.
 
 
 

Horae: use of Notre Dame a Rodez
(Rodez Book of Hours of the Blessed Virgin Mary with calendar)
Late 14th Century

Medieval illuminated manuscript, written on vellum. Devotional book - Hours of the Blessed Virgin Mary, with calendar, for the use of Notre Dame Cathedral at Rodez. Illuminated using gold leaf and lapis lazuli in the miniatures. From Rodez in Provence, with text partially in Provencal and partially in Latin, it contains eight large miniatures of scenes in the lives of Christ and the Virgin Mary and nine historiated initials.


Horae: use of France 
(French Book of Hours)
Late 15th Century

 
Illuminated using gold leaf and vivid colours including lapis lazuli. Red, blue and gold calendar. This, the most highly decorative of the Mitchell Library's Books of Hours, was written for use in the diocese of Rouen. It contains miniatures of Biblical scenes and borders of flowers, fruit, birds and grotesque animals. The main text is in Latin, with French at the beginning of the calendar.
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