Book of Hours

Object Details

Title:

Book of Hours

Artist/Maker(s):

Spitz Master (French, active about 1415 - 1425)

Master of Sir John Fastolf (French, active before about 1420 - about 1450)

Culture:

French

Place(s):

Paris, France (Place created)

Date:

about 1420

Medium:

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

Dimensions:

Closed: 20.5 x 15.9 x 6 cm (8 1/16 x 6 1/4 x 2 3/8 in.)

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Most books of hours, private prayer books specifically designed for lay people, contain a calendar, the Hours of the Virgin, a standard series of readings from the Gospels, the Office for the Dead, the Penitential Psalms, prayers, and hymns. This particular book of hours contains all those texts. Remarkably, it also includes other texts, both biblical passages and special prayers, focused on the Passion of Christ. The book's illumination features a number of miniatures showing scenes from Jesus' Passion.

Not only were books of hours important in the spiritual lives of their owners, but the most beautifully and extensively illuminated ones were important luxury objects. This one was illuminated by two anonymous artists, the most accomplished of whom is known as the Spitz Master. The two artists all painted in the International style, characterized by the courtly elegance of the figures and richly patterned fabrics rendered in brilliant colors and gold. Some of this book's miniatures were adapted from illuminations made by the Limbourg Brothers for Jean, duc de Berry, the most famous art patron of the age.

Related Works
Exhibitions
Exhibition of Illuminated Manuscripts (1908) (no. 207; fols. 83v-84)
The International Style: Courtly Art Around the Year 1400 (October 24, 1994 to January 8, 1995) (fols. 42v - 43)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), October 25, 1994 to January 8, 1995
Ten Centuries of French Illumination (April 23 to July 7, 1996) (fols. 103v - 104)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), April 23 to July 7, 1996
Masterpieces of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscript illumination (December 16, 1997 to March 22, 1998) (fols. 30v - 31)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 16, 1997 to March 22, 1998
Out-of-Bounds: Marginal Imagery in Illuminated Manuscripts (April 7, 1998 to July 5, 1998) (fols. 45v - 46)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), April 7 to July 5, 1998
French Manuscript Illumination of the Late Middle Ages (August 3 to September 26, 1999) (fols. 103v - 104)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), August 3 to September 26, 1999
The Queen of the Angels (August 15 to November 5, 2000) (fols. 83v - 84)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), August 15 to November 5, 2000
Illuminating Color (May 22 to August 26, 2001) (fols. 45v - 46)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), May 22 to August 26, 2001
A Treasury of Fifteenth Century Manuscript Illumination (March 26 to June 16, 2002) (fols. 181v - 182)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), March 26 to June 16, 2002
The Medieval Best Seller: Illuminated Books of Hours (October 29, 2002 to January 19, 2003) (fols. 83v - 84)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), October 29, 2002 to January 19, 2003
Five Hundred Years of Manuscript Illumination (February 11 to June 1, 2003) (fols. 30v - 31)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), February 11 to June 1, 2003
Fit for a King: Courtly Manuscripts, 1380-1450 (June 29 to August 29, 2004) (fols. 42v - 43)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), June 29 to September 5, 2004
The Limbourg Brothers. Origins and Legacy of Three Guelders Artists and Their Relatives (August 28 to November 20, 2005) (fols. 30v - 31)
  • Museum Het Valkhof, (Nijmegen), August 28 to November 20, 2005
The Cult of Saints (April 25 to July 16, 2006) (fols. 45v - 46)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), April 25 to July 16, 2006
Landscape in the Renaissance (August 1 to October 15, 2006) (fols. 42v - 43)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), August 1 to October 15, 2006
Holy Image, Hallowed Ground: Icons from Sinai (November 14, 2006 to March 4, 2007) (fols. 45v - 46)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), November 14, 2006 to March 4, 2007
Out of Bounds: Images in the Margins of Illuminated Manuscripts (September 1 to November 8, 2009) (fol. 45v - 46)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), September 1 to November 8, 2009
Stories to Watch: Narrative in Medieval Manuscripts (February 22 to May 15, 2011) (fols. 169v - 170)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), February 22 to May 15, 2011
Fashion in the Middle Ages (May 31 to August 14, 2011) (fols. 30v - 31)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), May 31 to August 14, 2011
Heaven, Hell, and Dying Well: Images of Death in the Middle Ages (May 29 to August 12, 2012) (fols 193v - 194)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), May 29 to August 12, 2012
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