1275. [Prayer book - Flanders]
Dutch and Latin manuscript on vellum (ca. 11 x 8,5 cm): 132 ff., 15 ll., written in two sizes of a brown and red gothic hand (a few ff. skilfully repaired, one with piece of vellum in the upper corner of the illuminated border missing, some soiling, some illuminations ± faded and sl. rubbed, wormhole and a few foxing in blank margin of the first ff., sl. trimmed, some ms. annot.).
19th-c. blind stamped leather, covers with central panel with Jesse Tree ruled by the Bible quotation at the origin of this iconographic motif (Is. XI, 1-2), spine with raised bands, inside dentelles, pastedowns and flyleaves in brown silk, a.e.g. (sl. rubbed, right joint sl. splitting, lower cover sl. soiled).
Contents: Calendar (ff. 1-6); Several prayers and meditative texts relating to Christ, the Virgin, St. Bernard and Brigid (ff. 7-58); Short prayers dedicated to 10 saints (i.a. John the Baptist, Sebastian, Roch, Cornelius, Quirinus, Anna, Catherine) (ff. 59-66); Short devotional readings ("leeringhen") (ff. 67-94); Extracts from the gospel of Saint John in Latin (ff. 95-99); Penitential Psalms and Litany (ff. 100-117). The book ends with two later Dutch devotional texts written by two different hands (16th and 17th c.) (ff. 118-132).
Illumination: 17 miniatures (incl. 2 full-page) and 4 large initials within full or three-quarter borders: Lamentation of Christ (f. 20r), Mass of Saint Gregory (f. 34v), St. Bernard of Clairvaux reading (f. 37v), The Crucifixion (f. 43v), Procession of Saints (f. 59r), St. John the Baptist (f. 60v), St. Sebastian (f. 61r), St. Roch (f. 61v), St. Cornelius (f. 62r), St. Quirinus (f. 62v), St. Job (f. 63r), the Good Angel (f. 63v), St. Anna (f. 64r), St. Catherine (f. 65r), St. Barbara (f. 66r), St. John the Evangelist (f. 95r) and the Parousia (f. 100v).
This manuscript has its origin in the Dutch-speaking part of the Diocese of Tournai, in Flanders. The Calendar contains the names of saints particularly venerated in this area, such as St. Bavo, Donatian or Amand. Another hand also adds names venerated in the Diocese of Utrecht, such as Thomas Aquinas. The miniatures, initials and borders are in the style of the Ghent-Bruges School, in vogue between 1475 and 1550, and which is characterised by the sumptuousness of the margin decorations, by the richness of the chromatic effects and by the abundance of realistic details.
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