Elegant Book of Hours Leaf - 1520 Hours Workshop - c 1520-30


 Single leaf from a manuscript Book of Hours.  21 lines of Latin text in elegant humanist script, in dark brown ink on animal vellum.(112x64 mm – 4 3/8 x 2 ½’’)

One two-line illuminated initial in black on gold ground with red tracery; ten illuminated one-line initials, one illuminated paraph, & eight line extenders alternating in gold on black ground and black on gold ground. A gold cord-like border outlined in black surrounds the text. France, Paris or Tours, circa 1520-30.

The one-line illuminated “C” begins Psalm 7: 10-18: “Consumetur…” (The wickedness of sinners shall be brought to nought: and thou shalt direct the just: the searcher of hearts and reins is God. Just is my help from the Lord: who saveth the upright of heart. God is a just judge, strong and patient…). 

The nine lessons from Job contain moving readings from Job detailing the trials he endured in his struggle for God’s blessings. The two-line illuminated “P” begins Lesson I – Job 7:16-20: “Parce…” (Spare me, for my days are nothing. What is a man that thou shouldst magnify him? Or why dost thou set thy heart upon him?...).

1520’s Hours Workshop is now identified as Noel Bellemare and his Assistants, (previously named as the work of the “Doheny Master” or “Master of the Getty Epistles”). The workshop produced luxury work - manuscripts evidently made for women of the royal court, thus the knotted rope of the “Cordelieres” as an emblematic frame for the text leaves.  Four leaves from this manuscript were first described by Myra Orth in “An Exhibition of European Drawings and Manuscripts 1480-1880”, and cited in the J. Paul Getty Museum  Journal, vol. 16 (1988). Provenance: Baron Jerome Pichon (1812-96); the incomplete parent manuscript was offered in Fogg cat. 14 (1991), subsequently dispersed. Sister leaves appear in Cleveland Museum, Blackburn Collection, nrs. 69-71.

Presented in an archival 14 x 11'' mat

  • Inventory Number: IM-12592