Book of Hours of Guyot Le Peley

Ms. 3901 - Bibliothèque municipale (Troyes, France)

Alternate Titles:

Libro de Horas de Le Peley, Stundenbuch von Guyot Le Peley

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Codiology

Alternate Titles

Libro de Horas de Le Peley
Stundenbuch von Guyot Le Peley

Type
Extent / Format

300 pages / 13.0 x 9.5 cm

Origin
Date
15th century
Style
Genre
Language
Patron

Guyot Le Peley

Artist / School

Jean Colombe

Illustrations

Each page illuminated: some double-page illustrations, 12 full-page miniatures, 16 historiated initials

Short description

The Book of Hours of Guyot Le Peley presents the outstanding artwork of Jean Colombe, the most significant French illuminator at the end of the 15th century. A panorama of French illumination unfolds on 300 richly adorned pages, which impress with both their quantity as well as their quality. Jean Colombe made an artistic masterpiece for Guyot Le Peley, a high-ranking citizen of Troyes, which was first rediscovered at a spectacular London auction in 2005. A true wonder of the history of illumination!

Facsimile editions available

Description

Book of Hours of Guyot Le Peley

The Book of Hours of Guyot Le Peley presents the outstanding artwork of Jean Colombe, the most significant French illuminator at the end of the 15th century. A panorama of French illumination unfolds on 300 richly adorned pages, which impress with both their quantity as well as their quality. Jean Colombe made an artistic masterpiece for Guyot Le Peley, a high-ranking citizen of Troyes, which was first rediscovered at a spectacular London auction in 2005. A true wonder of the history of illumination!

Impressive Miniatures

Each of the precious manuscript’s 300 pages is embellished with gorgeous decoration. The typical components of a book of hours – a calendar at the beginning, then excerpts from the Gospels, the Office of the Virgin Mary, Psalms, additional prayers and religious texts – were illustrated with full- and even double-page miniatures. For example, the Annunciation is depicted on a double page. Gorgeous architectural frames surround these full-page miniatures. In some places, the miniatures present themselves also in the form of broad frames, which surround the text in an illustrative manner. Additionally, there is a variety of Bas-de-page-miniatures. Numerous historiated initials impressively round-out the consummate overall impression of the manuscript.

A Commission for the Outstanding Master

Manuscript 3901 of Troye’s Bibliothèque municipal was the commission of Guyot Le Peley, a high-ranking citizen of Troyes. The escutcheon on the first page of the manuscript provides the information of its patron, and the artist who executed it was no less than Jean Colombe. Jean Colombe (active 1463-1493) is considered to be the most significant French illuminator at the end of the 15th century and as the last great master of French Gothic. The Book of Hours of Guyot Le Peley, a precious jewel measuring 13 x 9.5 cm, is seen as one of the primary works of Jean de Colombe.

A Treasure Resurfaces

The manuscript gives indications of it previous owners through escutcheons, notes, and other signs in the book. Among these was the Italian collector Gaetano Poggiali from Livorno in the 18th century, and in the 19th century by Henry Bordes, a ship-owner from Bordeaux. All traces of the book of hours was lost to history until 2005, when it was auctioned at Christie’s in London. This discovery of the manuscript, which had only previously been in a private collections, was an event in the world of illumination and historic manuscripts!

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