BOOK OF HOURS, use of Rome in Latin, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM
[probably Bruges, c.1450]
201 x 152 mm. iii (i as pastedown) + 204 leaves + iii (iii as pastedown), foliation skips leaf after f.194, 16, 24(i & iv singletons), 39(vi a singleton), 411(iii, viii & x singletons), 59(i, iii & ix singletons), 69(i a singleton), 79(vi a singleton), 89(vii a singleton), 910(ii & vii singletons), 108(i & v singletons), 118(iii & viii singletons), 129(ix a singleton), 136(ii & v singletons), 148(i, iii, v & vii singletons), 157(ii, iv & vii singletons), 163(ii a singleton), 179(i a singleton), 184, 199(i a singleton), 20-218, 229(viii a singleton), 238, 249(ii a singleton), 257(uncertain), 268, miniatures on singletons, horizontal catchwords in lower corner of some final versos, 20 lines in black ink written in a gothic bookhand between two verticals and 21 horizontals ruled in pink, justification: 112 x 74mm, rubrics in red, text capitals touched yellow, one- to three-line initials in burnished gold on grounds and infills of pink and blue with white decoration, line-endings in the same colours, THIRTY-SEVEN LARGE ILLUMINATED INITIALS, with staves of blue or pink with white decoration on burnished gold grounds with corner sections in pink or blue with white decoration and infills of painted acanthus and flowers, with full-page borders of scrolling acanthus with interlaced stems and flower terminals in blue, green, pink, orange, burnished gold and silver and hairline tendrils with foliate terminals in burnished gold with bars to three sides, facing THIRTY-TWO ARCH-TOPPED MINIATURES with full-page borders and bars of similar type (dampstaining along lower edge of some leaves, occasional smudging including some borders and miniatures, miniature f.87v also with later overpainting, tarnishing of silver in borders, probably lacking miniatures before ff.107, 116, 173). 18th-century half-backed sheep over wooden boards, spine gilt in 5 compartments with tan lettering piece (worn). Lined morocco case.
1. The illumination is localisable to Bruges and the Calendar is appropriate to the south-western Netherlands: Amand in red, relics at St Amand near Tournai (6 February), Crissolus of Flanders (7 February), Austreberta from Thérouanne (9 February), Eleutherius, bishop of Tournai (20 February), Landoald whose relics were in Ghent (15 June), Bertin (4 September) and Omer (9 September) both with cults centred at St Omer, Eligius in red, bishop of Noyon and widely revered (1 December). The Litany is more indicative of Thérouanne or St Omer since it invokes not only Omer and Bertin but also Folkwin, bishop of Thérouanne, Arnulph, bishop of Soissons who retired to near Bruges, and Eligius. Prayers are in the masculine.
2. Trimmed 15th-century annotation in French on f.30
3. Prayers were added in black ink in a gothic bookhand with large initials and rubrics in red: Scio domine jhesu christe ff.197v-198; Epistola salvatoris domini nostri jhesu christi quam ipse propriis manibus suis scripsit ad abagaron regem dicens: Beatus rex abagaron ff.198-199; the names of God Agyos + oteos + orion ff.199v-200; the names of the Virgin Digna virgo trica triticon ff.200r&v; all these crossed through; beginning of St John's Gospel ff.200v-201v; rubric promising vision of Virgin 30 days before death, crossed through, but prayer left Ave fuit prima salus ff.201v-203
4. Added recipe, written in Italian, in a ?late 15th-century hand on penultimate leaf.
5. Added text credited to Fulgentius and Augustine on the regulation of body and soul in Italianate hand on second leaf; prayer in later Italianate hand added ff.196-7; a third hand added a prayer to the Virgin of Rossavalle, subsequently crossed through.
6. Michele Cavaleri, lawyer and collector: note on penultimate leaf Acquistato dall'avv Michele Cavaleri nel marzo 1866, in procinto d'esser venduto ai due diversi negozianti l'uno di Lipsia, l'altro di Francia [Bought by the avvocato Michele Cavaleri in March 1866, on the point of being sold to two different dealers, one from Leipzig and one from France]. A Milanese lawyer without exceptional resources, Cavaleri built up over thirty years an enormous collection of antiquities, paintings of the 14th to 16th centuries, prints, drawings and manuscript and printed books. When he tried to sell to the city of Milan in the early 1870s, the assessors appointed by the city said that the library was too large to catalogue. In his books, written to vent his spleen at the failure of the negotiations and consequent recriminations, Cavaleri summed up the motives behind his acquisitions as 'to collect and preserve representative examples of medieval and also of classical art' which, in an echo of this inscription, he had often rescued 'from the exorbitance of speculators and the greed of foreigners'. The collection numbered 63,296 objects, with 2,809 miniatures, apparently counting those within books as well as cuttings (M. Cavaleri, Il Museo Cavaleri e il Municipio di Milano, 1875). The paper label on the verso of the first leaf with 86 may be in Cavaleri's hand.
7. Enrico Cernuschi (1821-1896): republican hero of the Risorgimento, theoretical economist and brilliantly successful financier, Cernuschi is also remembered for his pioneering interest in oriental art, embodied in the Musée Cernuschi in Paris, where he had made his banking career. He intervened in the Cavaleri affair at the request of Cavaleri's friend and Cernuschi's fellow republican and former exile in Paris, Giuseppe Ferrari. Largely as an act of charity to the increasingly desperate Cavaleri, he bought the entire collection, unseen, by telegram on 13 April 1873 and had it shipped to Paris. In accordance with Cavaleri's intentions, he refused to break it up by selling individual items but left no specific instructions in his will. His heirs had many manuscripts sold by Hiersemann, ironically of Leipzig, in 1897 and the better paintings by Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, in May 1900. This piecemeal dispersal, with no mention of Cavaleri in the 1900 Cernuschi sale catalogue, means that Cavaleri's extraordinary collection has received little art historical attention (G. Leti, Henri Cernuschi, 1936, pp.267-269).
8. Sir Hugh Walpole (1884-1941): bookplate with monogram of WH and Brackenburn inside front cover; bookseller's catalogue, no 7, records 'formerly in the library of the late Sir Hugh Walpole'. Walpole is now perhaps better known from Stella Gibbon's parody in Cold Comfort Farm than from his own novels, which enjoyed huge contemporary success. The fortune earned by his writing and lecturing allowed him to collect pictures as well as books and manuscripts; parts of his library were left to the National Library of Scotland, the Bodleian Library and the King's School, Canterbury, while the remainder was dispersed.
Calendar ff.1-6v; Prayers: per crucis hoc signum fugiat procul f.8, Domine sancte pater omnipotens f.9; Hours of the Cross ff.11-15v, Hours of the Holy Spirit ff.17-21, Mass of the Virgin ff.23-26v; Gospel extracts ff.28-34v; Office of the Virgin use of Rome ff.41-100v: matins f.41, lauds f.55, prime f.65, terce f.69, sext f.74, none f.78, vespers f.82, compline f.88, propers ff.93-100v; Suffrages ff.102-125v: Trinity f.102, St Michael and all angels f.104, Prophets f.106, St John and all Evangelists f.107, Sts Peter and Paul and all Apostles f.109, Sts Adrian f.111, Sebastian f.113, Lawrence and Vincent f.115, Anthony f.116, Nicholas f.118, Seven Verses of St Bernard f.120, Domine jhesu christe qui hanc sacratissimam carnem f.121, Sts Barbara and Catherine f.123, more than one Virgin Saint f.125; Seven Penitential Psalms ff.127-134v; Litany ff.134v-138v; Office of the Dead use of Rome ff.140-170v; Avete omnes christi fideles anime with rubric promising as many days of indulgence as there are bodies in the cemetery where the prayer is said f.172; Commendation of Souls f.173-180v; rubric to the Psalter of St Jerome, detailing its efficacy, and prayer f.181, Psalter of St Jerome f.183-194v; Added prayers ff.197v-203
The choice of saints and indulgenced prayers seems fairly individual and the book may have been written to order. It was obviously much used, as shown by the various additions and the offsets of a badge on ff.7v-8. Although not specifically designed for the Italian market, the use of Rome had universal appeal and the book seems to have reached Italy at an early date.
The Masters of the Gold Scrolls, responsible for this Hours, dominated Bruges book illumination from about 1410 to 1450, drawing on Parisian miniature and border conventions. Their work is distinguished by the gold patterned backgrounds that give them their name, by their attractive bright colouring and by their clarity of contour. As in this manuscript, miniatures from more than one hand are usually found in the same volume. These miniatures employ a variety of backgrounds, since some have the gold scrolls, others diaper with burnished gold, others burnished gold and yet others coloured glazing over unburnished gold or silver to create swirling arabesques, a technique exploited earlier by the Parisian Boucicaut Master. Metal leaves are often used for the tiled floors found in many miniatures. The style of the miniatures and the fluid acanthus-based borders and large initials place this book in the later phase of the Gold Scrolls Masters' production in Bruges.
The directness of presentation, in terms of both design and iconography, gives the miniatures a striking immediacy: on f.103v, for instance, the role of the angels as emissaries between God and man is demonstrated by the angel holding a letter. While the shepherds on Christmas night often retain erotic elements from the tradition of carefree rustic pleasure, the innuendo of the bagpipes is here made explicit, as the bagpiper stands directly behind an embracing couple, f.68v. Some details seem to have been particularly favoured in Bruges, such as the appearance at the Nativity of the Holy Spirit as the Dove descending on the rays from the star, f.64v. Although the prayer to be said in a cemetery for the dead is not especially rare, it receives an unusually specific illustration: the picture of a cemetery with the dead arising for the Last Judgement, f.171v, was not a standard image and must have been painted specially for this book. The miniatures that show more saints, or more specific saints, than those named in the accompanying prayers may do so because they were drawn from stock, as sufficiently appropriate, or because they were specially designed to the commissioner's requirements.
The depiction of the Trinity where God the Father and the Holy Ghost as a winged man support the Son of the Broken Body on a world globe under a pavilion of honour, f.101v, is found very similarly in two Hours attributed to Bruges, the Eyckian van Amerongen-van Themseke Hours of c.1460, largely by one of the later hands of the Turin-Milan Hours, J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms Ludwig IX 7 f.25v, and a related Hours of c.1450 in New York, Pierpont Morgan Library Ms M.42, f.15v (see U. Panhans-Bühler, Eklektizismus und Originilität im Werk des Petrus Christus, 1976, pls 3-5). The Annunciation to the Shepherds and related illumination in the Ludwig manuscript are very close in style to the predominant hand in this hours (see J. Plotzek, Die Handschriften der Sammlung Ludwig, II, 1982, pp.115-141). The Annunciation to the Shepherds has been attributed to the Master of the Beady Eyes (A. van Buren, Heures de Turin-Milan, 1996, p.350), a translation of Delaissé's coinage for a follower of the Gold Scrolls style with a distinctively linear manner of indicating eyes, whose figure style would seem frailer and whose activity would seem slightly earlier than this and the Ludwig Hours. As connections between the Eyckian painters of the Turin-Milan Hours and related manuscripts are explored, individual personalities may emerge more clearly. In helping to reconstitute the context of the van Amerongen-van Themseke Hours, this book provides more evidence for the relationship of the exceptional Turin-Milan Hours with Bruges manuscript production.
The subjects of the full-page miniatures are as follows:
f.7v Christ, supported by an angel, in the tomb with the Instruments of the Passion
f.22v Virgin enthroned with Child accepting cherries from a kneeling angel
f.27v St John on Patmos, a devil stealing his ink pot and pen case
f.29v St Luke writing
f.31v St Matthew writing
f.33v St Mark writing
f.68v Annunciation to the Shepherds
f.73v Adoration of the Magi
f.77v Presentation in the Temple
f.81v Massacre of the Innocents
f.87v Flight into Egypt (overpainting in the background to add the miracle of the corn).
f.92v Death of the Virgin
f.103v St Michael the Archangel with other angels
f.108v Sts Peter, Paul and Andrew with other apostles
f.110v St Adrian
f.112v St Sebastian
f.114v Sts Lawrence and Vincent with other saints
f.117v A group of saints including a bishop, perhaps St Nicholas
f.119v St Bernard
f.122v Sts Catherine and Barbara
f.124v St Ursula sheltering some of the 11,000 virgins under her cloak
f.126v The Last Judgement
f.139v Mourners and clerics round a coffin in a church
f.171v The dead rising from their graves in a cemetery
f.182v St Jerome