Spinola Hours

Object Details

Title:

Spinola Hours

Artist/Maker(s):

Master of James IV of Scotland (Flemish, before 1465 - about 1541)

Master of the Dresden Prayer Book (Flemish, active about 1480 - 1515)

Master of the Lübeck Bible (Flemish, about 1485-about 1520)

Master of the Prayer Books of around 1500 (Flemish, active 1500)

and Workshop of Master of the First Prayer Book of Maximilian (Flemish, active about 1475 - 1515)

Culture:

Flemish

Place(s):

Ghent Belgium Bruges Belgium (Place created)

Date:

about 1510 - 1520

Medium:

Tempera colors, gold, and ink on parchment bound between pasteboard covered with red morocco

Dimensions:

Leaf: 23.2 x 16.7 cm (9 1/8 x 6 9/16 in.)

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With miniatures displaying astounding plays of spatial illusionism, the luxurious personal prayer book known as the Spinola Hours is one of the most visually sophisticated Flemish manuscripts of the sixteenth century. A book of hours contains a calendar of Church holidays, the Hours of the Virgin, which is a cycle of prayer services devoted to the Virgin Mary, the Office for the Dead, and other prayers, hymns, and readings. This particular book augments these contents with a special series of weekday offices and masses, providing even more possibilities for rich illuminations.

The Master of James IV of Scotland, while the primary illuminator, collaborated with several other artists to produce the eighty-eight large illuminations in the manuscript. The originality of his work can be seen in the startling illusions present in his miniatures, including such details as paintings of metal pins so real they seem to pierce the parchment. The book was undoubtedly commissioned for a wealthy patron, perhaps Margaret of Austria, for whom The Master of James IV of Scotland produced other works. In the 1700s the book belonged to the Spinola family in Genoa, from whom it takes its modern name.

Other artists whose illuminations appear in this manuscript include the Master of the Dresden Prayer Book and the Master of the Prayer Books of around 1500.

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Education Resources

Education Resource

Subjects

Grades

Format

Looking at Illuminated Manuscripts: An Illuminated Day Planner

Students examine a book of hours, compare it to the modern day-planner, and create class day-planners and calendars with illuminations.

Visual Arts

6-8; 9-12

Three/Five-Part Lesson