Book of Hours from France

This is perhaps the most important sixteenth-century illuminated manuscript in the collections of the Library of Congress. It combines the highpoint of humanist letter design with a style of illumination unsurpassed in Renaissance France. The manuscript is attributed to the Parisian workshop of Geoffrey Tory and contains many of the architectural and floral design elements found in his works. What distinguishes this copy is the extreme care and skill with which the illuminations were executed. The composition skillfully incorporates perspective with Mary’s face as the focal point, and the layering of architectural columns leads the eye from front to back.

Horae Beatae Mariae Virginia ad usum Romanum (Book of Hours). France, 1524. Manuscript on vellum. Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress

Call number: Rosenwald #14

Book of Hours from France

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