Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon

Vat. lat. 3781 - Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)

Alternate Titles:

Office of the Blessed Virgin, Das Vatikanische Stundenbuch des Jean Bourdichon, Vatikanisches Stundenbuch Jean Bourdichons, Offzium der Madonna

Facsimile edition
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Codiology

Alternate Titles

Office of the Blessed Virgin
Das Vatikanische Stundenbuch des Jean Bourdichon
Vatikanisches Stundenbuch Jean Bourdichons
Offzium der Madonna

Type
Extent / Format

236 pages / 15.5 x 9.5 cm

Origin
Date
Second half of the 15th century
Style
Genre
Language
Artist / School

Jean Bourdichon (1457 - 1521) and his School

Illustrations

17 full-page miniatures and more than 1200 initials

Short description

The Vatican Book of Hours arose in France in the second half of the 15th century and was produced by the gifted master Jean Bourdichon. The work is counted alongside Bourdichon’s Vatican Office of the Virgin among the artist’s best. It is decorated with 17 full-page miniatures and over 1,200 decorative initials.

Facsimile editions available

Description

Vatican Book of Hours from the Circle of Jean Bourdichon

Books of hours are private prayer and meditation books, which were widely distributed starting in the 13th century. The golden age for books of hours occurred in the late 14th and 15th centuries in France and Flanders. Arising then was one of the most beautiful handwritten codices in the world. Even today, the illuminated manuscripts of the talented French and Belgian masters are able to amaze their beholders. The Vatican Book of Hours of Jean Bourdichon is one of these special masterpieces. It is adorned with 17 full-page miniatures and over 1,200 decorated initials.

The French School

The Vatican Book of Hours was designed by the French illuminator Jean Bourdichon. Bourdichon produced some of the most important manuscripts of the early French Renaissance, for example, the outstanding Vatican Office of the Virgin. He worked as a painter at the courts of three French kings, including Charles VII. As one of the most influential painters of the early Renaissance, he oversaw the Tours School. The illumination of Bourdichon impresses through its unbelievable technical perfection.

Bewitching Book Decoration

At the beginning of the book of hours there is a calendar with original representations of the 12 signs of the zodiac. Four images of the evangelists and 13 additional full-page miniatures are impressive examples of the highly-developed fine painting of Bourdichon. The work arose in the second half of the 15th century and the images adhere to the Gothic style. The Vatican Book of Hours gives proof of the talent and artistry of Bourdichon in an exquisite manner.

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