A Book of Hours
Have you ever drawn or painted a picture to go with a story you wrote? The painting shown here illustrates what is called a book of hours and it was made more than 500 years ago.
These kinds of books were very popular at the time. Among other things, they contained daily prayers and a calendar of the year painted with scenes of everyday life from different seasons.
This particular book was created when Louis XII became king of France. A well known artist named Jean Bourdichon created its paintings. Bourdichon made paintings for other kings as well.
In the 1500s, paintings created for handmade books were called miniatures because they had to be small enough to fit on the page. Some books of hours could be held in the palm of your hand. Others were as large as the textbooks you use in school.
In this miniature, saints Michael, Charlemagne, Louis and Denis surround King Louis XII. King Louis is kneeling and praying on a blue pillow with gold thread. His crown is on the ground in front of him. You can tell which saint is which because the artist wrote their names above their heads.