Friday, July 27, 2012

Book of Hours, Adam, Walters Manuscript W.102, fol. 28v

This is a finely illuminated and iconographically rich Book of Hours, made in England at the end of the thirteenth century. The manuscript is incomplete and misbound. Its main artist can also be found at work in a Bible, Oxford, Bodleian Library Ms. Auct. D.3.2, and a Psalter, Cambridge, Trinity College Cambridge Ms. O.4.16. The manuscript contains a number of unusual texts including the Hours of Jesus Crucified, and the Office of St. Catherine. The patron of the manuscript is not clear: a woman is depicted as praying in many of the initials, but rubrics in the Office of the Dead mention "freres". The imagery is marvellously inventive, and the Hours of Christ Crucified are graced with images depicting the Funeral of Reynard the Fox in its margins. In the absence of a Calendar, it is not possible to locate the origin of the manuscript precisely.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

St. Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. Sang. 15, p. 01

It's great to see e-codices up on Flickr under a CC license! GREAT MANUSCRIPTS!!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Prayer book of Bishop Leonhard von Laymingen of Passau, Martyrdom of St. Stephen with kneeling bishop and Laymingen heraldry, Walters Manuscript W.163, fol. 175r

This late medieval German prayerbook is an example of a highly personal devotional item. It was originally made for Leonhard von Laymingen, Bishop of Passau, (1423-1451) circa 1440. The text primarily features a series of prayers to various saints as well as prayer for travelings. Many illuminations and some text pafgges have been excised, but the book is nonetheless extensively decorated. The prayerbook's illuminations consist of thirty miniatures and four historiated initials that complement the text, usually with illustrations of saints. Bishop von Laymingen appears in his prayerbook several times kneeling before the saint to which that particular prayer is dedicated. Additionally, the Laymingen coat of arms appears twenty times throughout the book.