An Intimate Art
Books of Hours are probably the most famous of all medieval illuminated manuscripts. Presented here are 12 Books of Hours that date from the origins of the genre in the 13th century to its eclipse in the 16th century. Examples come from France, Italy and the Southern and Northern Netherlands and are by many notable artists, including Pietro da Pavia, Belbello da Pavia, the Masters of Zweder van Culenburg, the Masters of the Gold Scrolls, Willem Vrelant, Guillaume tile Roy and Jean Poyer. Some are richly illustrated; others are more modest. Each manuscript is wholly unique, offering a captivating glimpse into the lives and preoccupations of their owners, the concerns and contributions of their illuminators.
The introduction by Christopher de Hamel, Donnelley Fellow Librarian at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, underscores the intimacy'of Books of Hours as a genre. A team of distinguished scholars have contributed to the essays, bringing up-to-date research to the project that helps situate each manuscript in the most recent scholarship. Comparative photographs of manuscripts in institutions place these twelve Horae in their broader artistic and cultural contexts.
Accompanying an exhibition held at Les Enluminures, New York, 2-25 May 2012