Hours of Simon de Varie

Object Details

Title:

Hours of Simon de Varie

Artist/Maker(s):

Jean Fouquet (French, born about 1415 - 1420, died before 1481)

and Chief Associate of the Bedford Master (French, active Paris, France until 1463)

and Master of Jean Rolin II (Hand B) (French, active Paris, France last third of 14th century)

Culture:

French

Place(s):

Paris (perhaps) France Tours France (Place created)

Date:

1455

Medium:

Tempera colors, gold paint, gold leaf, and ink on parchment bound between pasteboard covered with red morocco with olive and citron morocco inlays

Dimensions:

Leaf: 11.4 x 8.3 cm (4 1/2 x 3 1/4 in.)

Credit Line:

Partial gift of Gerald F. Borrmann

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Simon de Varie, who served in the French royal treasury under Charles VII and whom the king had recently raised to noble rank, commissioned a book of hours, which was completed in 1455. This richly illuminated private prayer book includes a calendar of church holidays and texts for devotional services inspired by the eight daily services of the divine office. The rise in literacy among the merchant and noble classes and their desire to express a newly emotional personal piety, particularly in veneration of the Virgin Mary, spurred the popularity of books of hours in the 1400s. In their desire for tangible luxury products, many wealthy patrons commissioned sumptuously illuminated books of hours.

The complete Varie Hours, of which the Getty Museum's volume is only a part, includes forty-nine large miniatures and several dozen other vignettes and historiated initials by four different artists. While three of these painters are anonymous, Varie commissioned the internationally sought-after painter Jean Fouquet to make six of the manuscript's illuminations; these were appended to the book as an unusual frontispiece. A later owner divided the book into three volumes. The Getty Museum owns one, and the two others belong to the Royal Library in The Hague, The Netherlands.

Related Works
Exhibitions
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  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), July 17 to October 6, 1985
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  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), July 22 to October 3, 1986
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  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), April 18 to July 2, 1989
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  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), April 27 to July 3, 1993
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  • Bibliothèque nationale de France, (Paris), October 16, 1993 to January 30, 1994
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  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), August 12 to October 26, 2008
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  • The Art Institute of Chicago, February 26 to May 29, 2011