Leaf from a Book of HoursArtist(s)FrenchArtist NationalityFrench (culture or style)Object Creation Datecirca 1485-1500Medium & Supportink, tempera and gold on parchmentDimensions
8 1/4 x 5 15/16 in. (20.9 x 15 cm);19 5/16 x 14 5/16 in. (49.05 x 36.35 cm);8 1/4 x 5 15/16 in. (20.9 x 15 cm)Credit LineBequest of Mrs. John AlexanderLabel copy
The book of hours was a private devotional book for use by laypeople, containing prayers to be recited at the seven liturgical hours of the day. The main text of the book is the Little Office of the Virgin Mary, or the Hours of the Virgin. The book of hours evolved at the same time as popular devotion to Mary and the Cult of the Virgin in the 12th and 13th centuries. By the 14th century the book of hours was the main text for private devotion, and by the 15th century it was esteemed as a precious object and status symbol. While miniatures signaled the important divisions in a book of hours, most pages lacked pictorial decoration and looked similar to this one, with text and dentelle (lace) initials, typically executed in red, blue, and white.
Exhibition label text, collections gallery, by Curator Annette Dixon, April 2001
While miniatures marked the important divisions in a book of hours, most pages looked much like this, with just text and dentelle (lace) initials, typically executed in red, blue and white. Despite its lack of pictorial decoration, this leaf exhibits script and ornament of a very high quality.Primary Object Classification-Collection AreaWesternRights
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