Guide To Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Huntington Library
BOOK OF HOURS, undetermined use1. ff. 1-12v: Calendar in French with major feasts in red; included are the feasts of Honoratus (16 May, in red), “Le feste nostre damme” (5 August), Firmin (25 September, in red); f. 13r-v, 2 coats of arms (see below). 2. ff. 14-19: Pericopes of the Gospels; f. 19v, with decorative border, but no text. 3. ff. 20-23v: Chy apres s’ensieut la messe de nostre damme, Salve sancta parens… 4. ff. 24-27: Short hours of the Cross; f. 27v, blank. 5. ff. 28-64: Hours of the Virgin; the antiphons and capitula at prime and at none are: Ecce tu pulchra…, Ab inicio et ante secula…, Fons ortorum…, Ego quasi vitis…; the hours from lauds to compline end with the prayer, Ecclesiam tuam quesumus domine…; f. 64v, blank. 6. ff. 65-78v: Penitential psalms and litany, including John and Paul, and Gervasius and Protasius among the martyrs; Nicholas and Louis among the confessors; Clare among the virgins. 7. ff. 79-83v: S’ensieut une devote orison de nostre damme, Obsecro te…[masculine forms; Leroquais, LH 2:346]; Orison de nostre damme, O intemerata…orbis terrarum. Inclina aures…[Wilmart, 488-90]. 8. ff. 84-114v: Office of the Dead, use of Rome. 9. ff. 114v-116v: Deus propicius esto michi peccatori…[HE, 125]. 10. ff. 117-124 [added s. XVI]: Prayers as follow: Oratio ad Christum, Conditor coeli et terrae, rex regum et dominus dominantium qui me de nihilo fecisti ad imaginem et similitudinem tuam…; Oratio venerabilis Bedae presbiteri…, Domine Iesu Christe qui septem verba…[Leroquais, LH 2:342]; Oratio coram crucifixo dicenda …contulit Gregorio papa III ad petitionem regine Angliae, Precor te amantissime Domine Iesu Christe propter illam eximiam charitatem…[Wilmart, 378, n.] with the prayer, Omnipotens sempiterne Deus qui ex nimia charitate unicum filium tuum…; Mon benoist dieu ie croy de cueur et confesse de bouche…[Sonet 1150]; ff. 124v-125, blank. 11. ff. 125v-126 [added s. XVII]: Richardus Pauli Stravius Dei et Apostolicae [rubric terminating here], Richard Pauli Stravius par la grace de Dieu et du Saint Siege Apostolique Evesque de Denis…Donne a Rullant le 29me de Jullet 1652, Par ordonance de Monsieur le R., Charle Briffor secretaire.
France, s. XV2
An indulgence granted to those who say certain prayers before the images contained in this book; we have found no reference to this bishop or bishopric at this date. Parchment, ff. iii (of which the first once functioned as a pastedown; all 3 are part of the structure of the first quire) + 126; 205 × 145 (100 × 68) mm. 1-158(through f. 117) 162 1710(-6, 7, 8, presumably blank). One catchword survives on f. 45v in the script of the text, written vertically along the inner bounding line; the occasional tiny mark at the lower edge of other final quire leaves, however, indicates that the normal system in this book may have been to place the catchwords horizontally in the far inner corner of the leaf. Quire signatures, excluding the calendar, run a-[n?], with the leaves indicated by early form arabic numerals; beginning with the eleventh quire [“i”], another parallel set of quire and leaf signatures begins, a-e and 1-4 in early form arabic numerals, placed in the center of the lower margin. Early modern numbering of the quires in red-tinged ink in the gutter of the first recto. In the main body of the text, 18 long lines, ruled in faint red-brown ink, with the script set above the line; on ff. 118-124, 16-18 lines of text, apparently unruled. Written in a bâtarde script; ff. 117-124 in an italic hand. Seventeen miniatures in arched compartments enclosed by simple bar frames of leaf gold and color; another strip of painted gold parallels the outer edge of the arch and encloses the 4 lines of text. The outer borders, in a rather spiky blue and dark painted gold acanthus, painted gold dots and a few flowers, berries, clusters of grapes, acorns, pomegranates or thistles of restrained colors: grey, dark rose, pale green. The miniatures were numbered in early form arabic numerals in the center lower margin as suggested by the survival of the numbers 11, 13-17 on ff. 50, 56, 61, 65, 79, 84. The miniatures, which have been attributed to Simon Marmion1 and helpers (particularly in the backgrounds?), are: f. 14, John sitting on a rocky promontory with the eagle perched on a single rock in the foreground; undulating water surrounds the island and in the far distance a many-spired city is visible; f. 15v, in large scale, the Virgin, holding a diminutive baby Jesus, poses at an open window for Luke who is finishing a portrait of them set on a large easel; the ox lies on the floor at Luke’s feet; f. 17, in large scale, with the angel behind him holding a scroll bearing his name, Matthew sits at his desk writing in a thick codex; a convex mirror hangs from the shelf above his desk, upon which there is a clear glass vase; f. 18v, in large scale, Mark concentrates on his writing on a scroll in a barrel-valuted room, while the lion at his feet stares at the viewer; f. 20 (Mass of the Virgin), seated on a gothic tracery throne in the center of the miniature, Mary holds the tiny baby Jesus in her lap while angels play music at either side; f. 24 (Hours of the Cross), a very thin Christ hangs on the cross, with Mary, John and the holy women on his right, and the soldiers on the left; behind him a city is silhouetted against the goldencolored sky; f. 28 (Hours of the Virgin), Annunciation, set in a gothic church, symmetrically arranged with Mary and the archangel Gabriel at the 2 sides and a gold altar in the center, below a green canopy; f. 35 (Lauds), Visitation, with a farmyard and its dovecote in the middle ground, and an ethereal city in the backgroung; f. 44 (Prime), done by helpers (?), Annunciation to the shepherds, one with a flute tucked in his belt, the other with bagpipes who protects his eyes with an upraised arm, listening to the host of angels, as does a shepherdess who has been interrupted in making a garland; f. 47 (Terce), Nativity, with the tiny doll-like baby Jesus lying on the bare ground in the shed, viewed from directly in front; 2 shepherds gaze over a wattle partition on the left, and Joseph arrives, holding a candle, from the right; f. 50 (Sext), Adoration of the Magi; the oldest Magus, his crown in hand and his gift on the orange-draped bed, kneels to kiss the foot of the tiny baby Jesus who is held up by Mary; Joseph stands to one side with hat in hand; f. 53 (None), Presentation in the temple, which is open frontally to the viewer; a group of men and women observe the scene and each other with interest; f. 56 (Vespers), Flight into Egypt; Joseph, leading the donkey and carrying a bundle on a stick on his back, turns to look at Mary who, wearing a hat and holding the baby, has the donkey’s reins in her free hand; in the far distance a group of soldiers is seen pursuing them; f. 61 (Compline), Coronation of the Virgin, who sits on a gold gothic throne while Jesus, with tiara and cross and orb, blesses her, and bands of orange or blue angels frame the scene on either side; f. 65 (Penitential psalms), David, his harp leaning up against a rock, prays to God the Father who appears picked out in gold against the dark blue sky; a small angel in white mediates between them; f. 79 (Obsecro te), the Virgin, seated on a gold throne at the end of a narrow room, nurses the Child, while groups of singing and music-playing angels stand at the sides of the throne; f. 84 (Office of the Dead), Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead, while his sisters kneel in prayer, and a group of men watches intently. 4- and 2-line initials in burnished gold with a design painted on the gold; infillings of dark blue acanthus leaves picked out in gold on maroon grounds of the same style, or vice versa. 1-line initials in burnished gold with infillings of dark blue or maroon on grounds of the other color; initials within the text touched in yellow. Rubrics in red. Full traced borders on every page, contained by 2 thin painted gold lines around the written space and around the outer edge of the border. On ff. 117-124: 3- and 2-line initials in gold curled forms against shaded square red or blue grounds; 1-line painted gold initials on alternating blue or maroon square grounds. On f. 117r-v, the last leaf of the quire, the full acanthus border; on successive leaves the text is framed by illusionistic painted gold molding. The book has apparently been in loose quires since its acquisition and is kept in a black morocco box made by Lloyd, Wallis and Lloyd; the red velvet back cover from the binding retained in Library files. Written in northeastern France; note, in the calendar, “michiel,” “franchois,” “berthelemieu.” Among the early owners were members of the family of Berlaymont as indicated by a death note on f. ii for “michiel de Berlaymont” dated 1516; notes on f. 10r-v give the death date of 1558 for “ma femme” whose body was brought to Berlaymont for burial, and again the date of 1558 for the dedication of the church of Berlaymont by the suffragan bishop of Cambrai. Two coats of arms added on f. 13r-v, on a leaf perhaps originally ruled and decorated for a calendar page probably represent the arms of Charles de Berlaymont, Baron of Lens and Knight of the Golden Fleece (1510-78) and his wife, Adrienne, daughter of Louis de Ligne, Baron of Barbaçon. The arms are: f. 13, encircled by a Renaissance wreath, per pale, I, arms of Berlaymont of Namur province (Rietstap, vol. 1, pl. 187); II, quarterly 1 and 4, arms of Ligne (Rietstap, vol. 4, pl. 65); 2 and 3, arms of Barbaçon of Hainaut (Rietstap, vol. 1, pl. 121); on f. 13v, the arms of Berlaymont encircled by the collar of the Order of the Golden Fleece, presumably added between 1556, when Charles received the Golden Fleece, and his death in 1578. The manuscript was in the possession of a book dealer of Prague, Alexander Storch, in November 1896; Christie’s, 9 April 1900, n. 234 (bought in); Catalogue 96 (March 1901) of Ellis and Elvey, pp. 1-6 with a long description by J. W. Bradley. Acquired by E. Dwight Church (1835-1908); in his Catalogue…of English Literature (1909) vol. 1, n. 401 with a plate of f. 24. The Church collection was purchased by Henry E. Huntington in 1911. Bibliography: J. Destrée, “Un livre d’heures peint par Simon Marmion,” Annuaire de la Société des Bibliophiles et Iconophiles de Belgique (1918) 131-37. S. R[einach], “Une miniature de Simon Marmion,” Revue archéologique 9 (1919) 240. De Ricci, 102-03. E. W. Hoffman, “Simon Marmion Re-considered,” Scriptorium 23 (1969) 243-71 and pl. 80-98; see especially p. 245; also, “Simon Marmion or ‘The Master of the Altarpiece of Saint-Bertin’; A Problem in Attribution,” Scriptorium 27 (1973) 263-90 and pl. 17-20; see especially pp. 273 and 275. S. Hindman, “The Case of Simon Marmion: Attributions and Documents,” Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte 40 (1977) 185-204, and especially pp. 203, n. 45 and 204, Appendix. J. Thorpe, introduction to Book of Hours: Illuminations by Simon Marmion (Huntington Library pamphlet, no date) with color reproductions of all illuminations, in larger scale than in the manuscript. T. Kren, ed., Renaissance Painting in Manuscripts; Treasures from the British Library (J. Paul Getty Museum 1983) n. 11 with reproductions of ff. 44, 47.
1 We thank Mme Nicole Reynaud for confirming this attribution.
C. W. Dutschke with the assistance of R. H. Rouse et al., Guide to Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Huntington Library (San Marino, 1989). Copyright 1989.
Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery, San Marino, California.
Electronic version encoded by Sharon K, Goetz, 2003.
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