Parent Object
Leaf from the van Alphen Hours: Initial H with Souls Cast into Hellmouth
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Leaf from the van Alphen Hours: Initial H with Souls Cast into Hellmouth


Description Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description This Dutch Book of Hours was made for a female patron, possibly pictured on fol. 109r, in the mid-fifteenth century. Originally richly illuminated by the workshop of the Master of Catherine of Cleves, the manuscript now lacks all of its full-page miniatures, although the eight surviving historiated initials speak to its original grandeur. Its rebinding in the seventeenth century resulted in the loss of several folios and the reordering of many of the texts. The imagery on this page is especially unusual for its marginal motifs, which include not only mussels, but also scallop shells. These shells were traditionally associated with guiding pilgrims on their path to the shrine of St. James in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain. A small painting over one of the shells here may be a depiction of that shrine.
Exhibitions
  • Illuminated Manuscripts: Masterpieces in Miniature. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1984-1985.
  • Time Sanctified: The Book of Hours in Medieval Art and Life. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1988.
  • Mirror of a Medieval World. The Hours of Catherine of Cleves. Museum Het Valkhof Nijmegen, Nijmegen. 2009-2010.
Provenance Made for an unidentified patron [1], mid 15th century. Member of the Sashers family [2]. Collection of van der Feer Lader [3]. Ph. J. van Alfen of Doorn, Netherlands [4]. Sale, Sotheby's, December 6 1971, lot 54; purchased by Walters Art Museum, 1971. [1] Possibly the woman kneeling in prayer to the Man of Sorrows in the historiated initial on folio 109r, a member of the congregation of St. Agnes in Delft and who may have been related to Catherine of Cleves based on heraldic evidence [2] Cursive notes of births 1605-1610 on fols. 240r and 240v [3] Bookplate on inside upper cover, no. 83 [4] Ex libris on first flyleaf
Credit Museum purchase, 1971

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Period
mid 15th century
Medium
ink and paint on thin to medium-weight smooth vellum
(Manuscripts & Rare Books)
Accession Number
W.782.113R
Measurements
Folio H: 5 11/16 × W: 4 5/16 in. (14.5 × 11 cm)
Geographies
Location Within Museum
Not On View

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