BOOK OF HOURS, use of Rome, in Latin and French, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM
180 x 120mm. 169 leaves: 16, 24, 38, 4-56, 68, 79(i a singleton), 8-128, 136, 14-208, 216, 229(ix apparently a singleton), 235(lacking leaves i-iii, probably with small miniatures), eighteen lines in black-brown ink in a semi-humanistic bookhand between two verticals and two horizontals ruled in pink, justification: 105 x 61mm, rubrics in blue, one-line initials of liquid gold against grounds alternately of rusty red or blue with gold filigree decoration, line-endings mostly of the same colours but some as liquid gold branches, two-line initials of gold against grounds usually of blue, occasionally of rusty red, with white foliate and floral decoration, THIRTY SMALL MINIATURES illustrating prayers and suffrages, ONE FULL-PAGE AND NINE LARGE MINIATURES with full-page borders of two types, either architectural borders of liquid gold or sprays of acanthus and naturalistic flowers and fruit against grounds of liquid gold including grotesques and insects and THIRTY SMALL MINIATURES (slight spotting to outer margins, small stain affecting five leaves, minor pigment losses to small miniatures on folios 152, 164v, 165 and 166, miniatures on folios 111v&112). 17th-century French red morocco gilt (rubbed).
The style of illumination shows that the manuscript was produced in Paris. It is possible that the two men shown kneeling in the cemetary in the miniature opening the Prayer for the buried dead (f.171v) may represent the original owners of the Hours.
Apparent ownership notes have been erased from the first folio and the endleaves.
Calendar ff.1-6v; Gospel Extracts ff.7-11; Passion according to John ff.12-19v; Sequence of prayers ff.20-27: including to the Holy Face f.20v, Prayers of St Gregory ff.21v and 25 and to the Trinity f.23; Prayers to the Virgin ff.28-39v: including Obsecro te f.28, O Intemerata, f.31, the Seven Joys of the Virgin ff.35 and Stabat Mater f.38; Office of the Virgin, use of Rome, interspersed with the Hours of the Cross and the Hours of the Holy Spirit ff.40-94: matins f.40, lauds f.52, prime f.62, terce f.66v, sext f.70, none f.72v, vespers f.75v, compline f.80v, propers f.85; Seven Penitential Psalms ff.94-103; Litany ff.103-111v; Office of the Dead ff.112-143; Ordinatio de beata maria ff.143v-150; Suffrages to Sts Michael f.150, John the Baptist f.151, John the Evangelist f.151v, Peter and Paul f.152, Andrew f.152v, James f.153, Stephen f.153v, Lawrence f.154, Christopher f.154v, Sebastian f.156, Adrian f.157, Denis f.158, Martin f.159, Nicholas f.159v, Claude f.160, Jerome f.161v, Benedict f.162, Antony f.162v, Fiacre f.163, Roch f.163v, Louis f.164v, Barbara f.165, Apollonia f.166, Ursula and her Virgins f.167; Prayers for the buried dead ff.167v-169
This manuscript is a telling demonstration of cross-influence and co-ordination within the Parisian book trade of the early 16th century. It combines the work of three of the city's leading illuminators -- Jean Pichore, the Master of Philippe de Gueldre and a Master of the Chronique Scandaleuse. The latter painted the large miniatures in architectural frames while the handsome sequence of miniatures from the Suffrages were painted by Jean Pichore, who is best known for the manuscripts he painted for the royal family and members of the court. He is documented as running a large atelier, and his collaborations with the Master of the Chronique Scandaleuse and the Master of Philippe de Gueldre included books for the library of Cardinal Georges d'Amboise.
A more unexpected feature than this collaboration is the influence from contemporary printed Hours. The image known as the Virgin of the Litanies, here introducing Obsecro te (f.28), is first known from its use in 1503 as a woodcut illustration at the beginning of the Office of the Immaculate Conception in a Book of Hours, use of Rouen, published by Antoine Vérard. Its appearance in a manuscript is rare: L.M.C. Randall, Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Walters Art Gallery, France, 1420-1540, II, 2, p.490. The image was adopted by other printers and makes several appearances in the following decade. Both Pichore and the Master of Philippe de Gueldre were actively involved in the production of printed Hours. Pichore is known to have published a printed book -- an Hours for the use of Rome in 1504 (BnF, Rothschild 19) -- and the question of his role in furnishing designs for metalcuts in printed Books of Hours is much discussed. The Master of Philippe de Gueldre regularly provided illustrations for luxury vellum copies of Hours printed by Antoine Vérard and he may have been responsible for the presence of the Virgin of the Litanies in this manuscript, in the section containing his work.
The subjects of the large miniatures are as follows:
f.11v Christ, displaying his wounds, with the instruments of the Passion
f.28 Virgin of the Litanies, showing the Virgin surrounded by her symbols
f.60 Crucifixion with the Virgin and John the Evangelist
f.75v Flight into Egypt
f.94 David in Penitence
f.111v Three Living
f.112 Three Dead
The small miniatures are: St Veronica holding the Vernicle f.20v, Mass of St Gregory f.21v, Trinity f.23, John the Evangelist with the Virgin and Mary at the foot of the Cross f.38, Coronation of the Virgin f.80v, Michael f.150, John the Baptist f.151, John the Evangelist f.151v, Peter and Paul f.152, Andrew f.152v, James f.153, Stephen f.153v, Lawrence f.154, Christopher f.154v, Sebastian f.156, Adrian f.157, Denis f.158, Martin f.159, Nicholas f.159v, Claude f.160, Jerome f.161v, Benedict f.162, Anthony f.162v, Fiacre f.163, Roch f.163v, Louis f.164v, Barbara f.165, Apollonia f.166, Ursula and her Virgins f.167, Two men kneeling before a cross in a cemetary f.167