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Book of Hours (of Isabella Stuart)

Maker(s) &

Master of the Hours of Rohan, artist, France, North, Angers
Master of Giac, artist, France, North, Angers
Master of the Madonna, artist, and associates, English illuminator, act. ca. 1310


illuminated manuscript


book of hours




15th century


Parchment, i modern paper flyleaf + i contemporary, ruled parchment flyleaf + 232 fols. + i contemporary parchment flyleaf; 250 x 184 (120 x 75 mm), 15 long lines, ruled in red ink, catchwords.

BINDING: seventeenth century, brown calf over pasteboards, sewn on five supports, gold-stamped corner pieces and central oval with Crucifixion on both covers, gilt edges

SECUNDO FOLIO: minat omnem (fol. 14r)

SCRIPT: Gothic bookhand (textualis)

fols. 1r-12v Calendar
fols. 13r-19v Gospels Sequences
fols. 20r-23v Obsecro te
fols. 24r-28r O intemerata
fol. 28r-28v Omnis virtus te decorat, Me tibi virgo pia (both added in the 1450s)
fols. 29r-98r Hours of the Virgin (Use of Paris)
fols. 99r-111v Penitential Psalms
fols. 111v-118v Litany and Collects
fols. 119r-126v Hours of the Cross
fols. 127r-133v Hours of the Holy Spirit
fols. 134r-136r Passion according to St John
fols. 137r-140r Creator celi et terre
fols. 140r-141r Suscipiat pietas and Salva me Domine
fol. 142r-142v Five Joys of the Virgin
fols. 143r-146v Ave Maria, Ave mundi, Deprecor te and Sub tuam protectionem
fols. 147r-191v Office of the Dead

fols. 192r-198v Les quinze joyes nostre dame (Fifteen Joys of the Virgin in French)
fols. 199r-204r Quiconques veult estre bien conseillie (Seven Requests to Our Lord in French)
fols. 204v-226v Suffrages
fols. 226v-231v Prayers to the three Persons of the Trinity
fols. 231v Family register (1578-1619) of the Isamberts, living in the parish of St Sulpice, Paris

Twenty-four small, square miniatures (two per page) on diapered or coloured grounds ornamented in gold, framed in thin gold bands, depicting labours of the months in the upper border and Zodiac signs in the lower border for Calendar: fol. 1r January, man feasting by fireside, Aquarius; fol. 2r February, man wearing mittens, warms hands at fire, Pisces; fol. 3r March, man pruning trees, Aries; fol. 4r April, mounted hunter with hawk, Taurus; 5r May, man in leafy headdress carrying tree, Gemini (two naked male youths); fol. 6r June, man mowing flowery meadow, Cancer; fol. 7r July, man reaping, Leo; fol. 8r August, man threshing with flail, Virgo (virgin with palm and book); fol. 9r September, woman picking grapes from trellis, Libra; fol. 10r October man treading grapes, Scorpio; fol. 11r November, man harvesting acorns for pigs, Sagittarius; fol. 12r December, man slaughtering pig, Capricorn (shown as unicorn).

Two full-page miniatures: fol. 136v Creator celi et terre, Crescent moon with Virgin and Child, Saints Peter and Paul, the Trinity and angels with gold spraywork springing from three-sided border of gold filets; fol. 141v Quinque gaudia (Five Joys) Virgin Mary, standing, cradling Christ Child in Gothic interior with prophets and angels on pinnacles above, a female personification of Synagoga, and subsidiary scenes of the marriage of Joseph and Mary (on the left) and the Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple (on the right).

Twenty-three large miniatures with arched frames and full borders of flowers, acanthus and gold spraywork, many with added arms of Isabella Stuart for main text divisions:
fol. 13r Gospel Sequences, St John, seated at desk surmounted by eagle, writing in bound volume as devil upsets ink pot; fol. 14v St Luke writing in bound volume as winged ox clutches scroll; fol. 16v St Matthew writing on scroll with angel kneeling at his side and God above, surrounded by seraphim and cherubim; fol. 18v St Mark, with open book on lap, examines his pen, accompanied by winged lion with scroll; fol. 20r Obsecro te, Virgin and Child, seated at desk with open book, with Christ playing with rosary and kneeling female patron, holding scroll inscribed, O mater dei memento mei, presented by St Catherine; fol. 24r O intemerata, Virgin and Child, seated at desk with open book and vase of lilies; fol. 29r Hours of the Virgin, Matins, Annunciation, with Virgin kneeling at prie-dieu in vaulted chapel, surrounded by acanthus and floral border with seven medallions of scenes from the Virgin’s life (anticlockwise from top left), God the Father sending the dove of the Holy Spirit to the Virgin, Joachim and Ann making an offering in the hope for a child, their meeting at the Golden Gate, the Virgin’s birth, her Presentation in the Temple, her Marriage to Joseph, and the Virgin at her loom; fol. 53r Lauds, Visitation, with two angels kneeling in hilly landscape, and God the Father and Christ in the heavens; fol. 65r Prime, Adoration of the Child by Mary and Joseph with eight angels and male witnesses; fol. 71r Terce, Annunciation to the Shepherds with sheep gazing up at seraph; fol. 76r Sext, Adoration of the Magi with Joseph kneeling beside enthroned Virgin in vaulted chamber; fol. 81r None, Presentation in the Temple with Simeon holding Christ Child and God dispatching dove of Holy Spirit; fol. 86r Vespers, Flight into Egypt with two angels accompanying Holy Family and city in distance; fol. 93r Compline, Coronation of the Virgin by God the Father and Son with the dove of the Holy Spirit descending and seraphim above; fol. 99r Penitential Psalms, Trinity attended by angels, with God the Father and Son, resting feet on globe, sharing a single cloak and open book with dove of Holy Spirit descending; fol. 119r Hours of the Cross, Christ, with limbs stretched with ropes, is nailed to cross as soldiers gamble for his garments (foreground), Christ, with side pierced by Longinus, is offered sponge of vinegar as he hangs between two thieves whose souls leave their bodies (background); fol. 127r Hours of the Holy Spirit, Pentecost with crowned Virgin seated at centre among apostles in vaulted chamber as dove descends; fol. 134r Passion according to St John, Deposition with souls departing from crucified thieves, St Mary Magdalene embracing Christ’s cross, and man (probably Joseph of Arimathea) on ladder; fol. 147r Office of the Dead, Laypeople and clerics keep vigil at coffin as priest celebrates Mass at altar with naked dead depicted in two roundels in lower left and right corners of full border ornamented with scrolling acanthus in orange, green, blue and gold; fol. 192r Les quinze joyes nostre dame (Fifteen Joys), Virgin and Child seated among angels, including one holding harp plucked by the infant Christ; fol. 199r Quiconques veult estre bien conseillie (Seven Requests to Our Lord), Last Judgment with Christ as Man of Sorrows, surrounded by angels, with the dead rising up from graves below.

Small, square miniature, incorporated in the text block: fol. 28v Omnis virtus te decorat, Prayer and image added c.1455-1458 for Margaret of Brittany who is shown kneeling before the enthroned Virgin and Child at a prie-dieu draped in fabric embroidered with the arms of Brittany.

Thirty-two marginal miniatures in outer borders forming a continuous series of illustrations of Guillaume de Deguileville’s Pèlerinage de Jhesucrist (6 medallions entwined in tendrils of foliate ornament for pages with large miniatures, and 26 rectangular miniatures framed in thin gold bands for text pages): fol. 13r Poet-dreamer, Guillaume de Deguileville, receives a vision of God the Father in Glory; fol. 13v Annunciation; fol. 14r Joseph, accompanied by angel, kneels before Virgin; fol. 14v Nativity with Virgin adoring the Christ Child and Joseph approaching midwife (medallion); fol. 15r Annunciation to the Shepherds; fol. 15v Adoration of the Magi; fol. 16r God addresses Virgin, and Christ Child, dressed as pilgrim; fol. 16v Virgin Mary and Joseph present Christ Child, dressed as pilgrim, to elderly man (medallion); fol. 17r Christ Child, dressed as pilgrim, in the Temple among the doctors; fol. 17v Adult Christ, dressed as pilgrim, meets St John the Baptist; fol. 18r Wedding at Cana with Christ, accompanied by Virgin, blessing six jars; fol. 18v Flight into Egypt with St Joseph accosted by three armed men (medallion); fol. 19r Christ and Virgin Mary at stream with angel holding jar; fol. 19v Baptism of Christ by John the Baptist; fol. 20r Holy Spirit (shown as bearded man) leads Christ child, into wilderness where he encounters devil (medallion); fol. 20v Christ and St Peter in boat, two lame men kneel on land; fol. 21r Christ as pilgrim among apostles; fol. 21v Raising of Lazarus, with Virgin and apostles; fol. 22r Last Supper with Christ breaking bread; fol. 22v Christ washes St Peter’s feet; fol. 23r Agony in the Garden with Christ kneeling, cup on rock, and apostles sleeping; fol. 23v Arrest of Christ who is embraced by Judas, with Malchus bleeding and St Peter sheathing sword; fol. 24r Flagellation with Christ, bound to slender column, scourged by two men (medallion); fol. 24v Christ carries cross; fol. 25r Crucifixion with thieves; fol. 25v Red angel seated on empty tomb, greets two Marys; fol. 26r Journey to Emmaus, with Christ, dressed as pilgrim, with two companions; fol. 26v Christ, dressed as pilgrim, appears to Virgin who kisses his hand; fol. 27r Wounded Christ (Man of Sorrows) appears to apostles; fol. 27v Wounded Christ appears to apostles with seraphim in starry sky; fol. 28r Pentecost with apostles kneeling and dove descending; fol. 28v Virgin Mary kneeling before God, encircled by fiery seraphim with caption in bright blue ink, ci fine le pelerinage ihu crist.

One hundred and thirty-nine marginal miniatures in outer borders, forming a continuous series of illustrations of the Apocalypse (7 medallions entwined in tendrils of foliate ornament for pages with large miniatures, and 132 rectangular miniatures framed in thin gold bands for text pages): fol. 29v St John, seated, writing in open book as angel descends, with caption in bright blue ink, ci commence lapocalypse saint jehan; fol. 30r St John, standing, gazes up at God; fol. 30v St John seated gazes up at golden trumpet; fol. 31r St John gives letter to men; fol. 31v St John’s, seated, gazes up at Christ and candlesticks; fol. 32r St John, prostrate, sleeping, receives vision of Christ and candlesticks; fol. 32v Christ in sky, holding sword, raises St John; fol. 33r St John writing at Christ’s dictation; fol. 33v St John presents letter to messenger; fol. 34r Messenger presents letter to bishop of Ephesus; fol. 34v St John presents letter to messenger; fol. 35r Messenger presents letter to bishop of Smyrna; fol. 35v St John presents letter to messenger; fol. 36r Messenger presents letter to bishop of Pergamum; fol. 36v St John presents letter to messenger; fol. 37r Messenger presents letter to bishop of Thyatira; fol. 37v St John presents letter to messenger; fol. 38r Messenger presents letter to bishop of Sardis; fol. 38v St John and messenger gaze up at Christ who holds sword and key; fol. 39r Messenger presents letter to bishop of Philadelphia; fol. 39v St John presents letter to messenger; fol. 40r Messenger presents letter to bishop of Laodicea; fol. 40v St John, writing, receives vision of gates of heaven; fol. 41r St John, writing, hears heavenly trumpet; fol. 41v St John receives vision of God enthroned among elders, with seven lamps; fol. 42r St John sees God enthroned among four beasts; fol. 42v St John sees elders cast down their crowns before God; fol. 43r St John sees God with sealed book lying beside him; fol. 43v Man, pointing upwards, approaches St John; fol. 44r St John receives vision of fourfold Lamb (with four bodies and seven horns) among beasts; fol. 44v St John sees Lamb take book from God, with four beasts, elders; fol. 45r St John sees beasts, elders and angels; fol. 45v First Seal: crowned rider wielding bow on white horse, angel with scroll; fol. 46r Second Seal: rider on red horse (knight with sword), lion with scroll; fol. 46v Third Seal: rider in white, with scales, on black horse, ox with scroll; fol. 47r Fourth Seal: shrouded corpse on black horse, followed by devils, eagle with scroll; fol. 47v Fifth Seal: souls of martyrs kneel at altar, angel descends with stole; fol. 48r Sixth Seal: stars and sun fall, rain of blood, towers fall, bishop and man destroyed; fol. 48v St John sees angels holding four winds, God above; fol. 49r Heavenly multitude, holding palms, adore God and Lamb; fol. 49v Seventh Seal: St John, seated, gazes at God who is flanked by seven angels sounding trumpets; fol. 50r St John sees angel censing altar in heaven, and casting incense on earth; fol. 50v St John sees angels censing heavenly altar surmounted by chalice; fol. 51r St John sees four winds blow as angel pours vial into fire; fol. 51v St John sees seven angels sounding trumpets; fol. 52r First Trumpet: rain of fire on earth; fol. 52v Second Trumpet: fire cast on sea; fol. 53r St John witnesses sounding of Third Trumpet: star falls on sea, heap of naked men on shore (medallion); fol. 53r Third Trumpet: burning star falls from heaven; fol. 53v Fourth Trumpet: darkening of sun and moon; fol. 54r Fifth Trumpet: opening of mouth of Hell; fol. 54v Sixth Trumpet: locusts (shown as horned lions) emerge from sea; fol. 55r St John sees great, red angel, holding open book; fol. 55v Angel in sky speaks to St John; fol. 56r St John sees great, red angel holding open book; fol. 56v Angel in sky speaks to St John; fol. 57r Angel gives St John rod to measure Temple; fol. 57v St John measures altar; fol. 58r St John takes open book from great, red Angel with winged feet; fol. 58v Great, red angel speaks to St John who holds open book; fol. 59r St John hears sounding of Seventh Trumpet; fol. 59v St John sees temple in heaven, fire and hail rain down; fol. 60r St John sees crowned woman clothed with the sun, standing on moon; fol. 60v St John sees seven-headed dragon; fol. 61r St John watches seven-headed dragon casting down stars in front of woman clothed in the sun; fol. 61v St John sees St Michael, armed with sword, defeating dragon; fol. 62r St John sees St Michael, armed with cross-staff, casting down seven-headed dragon; fol. 62v St John, seated, with open book, gazes upwards; fol. 63r St John sees seven-headed dragon and crowned woman clothed in sun; fol. 63v St John sees angel giving wings to crowned woman; fol. 64r St John sees seven-headed dragon spewing out flood waters; fol. 64v Crowned woman flies into desert, holding open book; fol. 65r St John sees men armed with swords, fighting seven-headed dragon (medallion); fol. 65v St John sees seven-headed beast rising up from sea; fol. 66r St John sees seven-headed dragon giving sceptre to beast; fol. 66v St John sees beast with sceptre; fol. 67r St John sees men worshipping seven-headed dragon; fol. 67v St John sees men worshipping beast; fol. 68r St John sees beast slaying saints, with God above; fol. 68v St John sees kings worshipping beast; fol. 69r St John sees man with sword, slaying saints; fol. 69v St John sees three kings worshipping beast on altar; fol. 70r St John receives vision of Lamb adored on Zion; fol. 70v St John gazes at host of angels playing harps and viols; fol. 71r St John receives vision of Lamb, four beasts, angels and elders (medallion); fol. 71v St John sees first angel; fol. 72r St John sees second angel; fol. 72v St John sees third angel; fol. 73r St John, seated, reading; fol. 73v St John receives vision of Son of Man holding scythe; fol. 74r St John sees angel addressing Son of Man; fol. 74