Book of Hours
Enlarge Zoom in

Follower of the Boucicaut Master, illuminator; Follower of the Egerton Master, illuminator
French, Paris, about 1410
Tempera colors, gold leaf, gold paint, and ink on parchment bound between pasteboard covered with red morocco
7 1/2 x 5 1/2 in.

Add to Getty Bookmarks

Books of hours, made especially for the private devotional practice of lay people, were one of the most important types of manuscript to be made in the later Middle Ages. Although this book is elaborately decorated with an innovative scheme of illumination and numerous marginal figures, it was illuminated not by major masters but by their followers. With the increased demand for books of hours in the early 1400s, collaborative ventures by different artists were common in the Parisian art market. This book was certainly made for a woman; in fact, she is depicted kneeling in prayer in the miniatures accompanying two prayers to the Virgin.

The manuscript epitomizes the sumptuous aesthetic of the International style of painting. Characteristic features include the elongated proportions of the figures, their swaying postures, and their extravagant clothing. The borders are also classic examples of the International style in manuscripts, with richly colored acanthus leaves, brilliant touches of gold leaf, and small playful figures appearing throughout.

Page through the book