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Glanzlichter der Buchkunst 23, The Book of Hours of James IV
Price: € 98,00   Standing order price: € 85,00
Date: 2015     ISBN: 978-3-201-02002-2

Commentary in German and English

The medieval Book of Hours was a very personalised type of book and is best exemplified in the Prayer Book of James IV and his wife Margaret Tudor. The wedding of the Scottish king and the daughter of the English sovereign Henry VII – a political dream of many who hoped for durable peace between the two countries – was celebrated in 1513 at Holyrood. Our Book of Hours probably constitutes the wedding gift of the groom to his bride. Whoever commissioned this work had entrusted one of the leading illuminator’s workshops with the production of his present.

The Prayer Book is illustrated by 65 full-page miniatures which mark the chapter beginnings or are dispersed throughout the text. The rich and detailed decoration makes them unique examples of their kind. Both miniature and text pages are framed with borders showing blossoms, rinceaux and tiny creatures in a stunningly naturalistic style. The Prayer Book of James IV owes its outstanding significance not only to its position in history but also to its high art historic value. It ranks among the most important works ever made in a workshop of the Gent-Bruges School where Flemish illumination flourished and ultimately blossomed.

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