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Leaf from Book of Hours: Litany, Decorated Initial
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Leaf from Book of Hours: Litany, Decorated Initial "K"

Description Provenance Credit
Description This Book of Hours was likely produced for a member of the Augustinian Collegiate Church of Saint-Pierre at Lille along the Flemish-French border. The patron may have had himself depicted in the opening initial for the Penitential Psalms on fol. 125r, shown kneeling before an altar in prayer with hands extended to heaven, from which God emerges in a cloud, blessing the man and carrying a black book. A significant number of feast days in the calendar are devoted to saints venerated in Lille, and the proximity of St. Peter to the Virgin in the Pentecost historiated initial on fol. 13r may further suggest a connection to Saint-Pierre at Lille. Historiated and inhabited initials, drolleries, and vignettes are painted simply with dark outlines to delineate forms. Decorated initials and marginal ornament combine a calligraphic elegance with bold outlines that ultimately circumscribe the ornament. The ivory plaque depicting the Coronation of the Virgin below a trefoil Gothic arch was inserted into the front cover in the nineteenth century, although the ivory itself dates to the fourteenth century and was carved in either Flanders or Germany.
Provenance Acquired by Léon Gruel, Paris, late 19th century [1]; purchased by Henry Walters, Baltimore, early 20th century (?); by bequest to Walters Art Museum, 1931. [1] His bookplate no. 68 on the front pastedown
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters

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late 13th century
ink and pigments on parchment
(Manuscripts & Rare Books)
Accession Number
Folio H: 3 9/16 × W: 2 3/8 in. (9 × 6 cm)
  • France, Lille (Place of Origin)
  • France, Paris (Place of Binding)
  • France, Paris (Place of Binding)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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