MS0066 Book of Hours, Roman Use, Latin ms., Florence, c. 1475

228 leaves (13 x 9 cm). Rounded Italian Gothic hand. 13 lines. Gatherings mostly of 10. Text in Latin: Calendar, Hours of the Virgin, Office of the Dead, Hours of the Passion, of the Cross, Psalms, Litany. Two miniatures and four historiated initials, many lavishly decorated initials and borders. Binding: vellum.

This exquisite little Book of Hours is a fine example of illumination as practiced at the heart of the Italian Renaissance. The Italian approach to the figure and composition is restrained and elegant, less vigorous and diffuse than Flemish naturalism of the same period. The borders are bold and brilliant in color. The floral decorations, vibrant initials, and delicately attenuated figure style are characteristic of Florentine work during the second half of the 15th century. The miniature style is related but not identical to works by Francesco d'Antonio del Chierico and Attavante, both active during this period. On general stylistic grounds the manuscript should be dated around the 1470s.

Provenance: House of Farnese; Signor Cattenacio (1736); Joachim Besozzi, Abbot of Santa Crucis if (both owners identified in an inscription on an enclosed vellum leaf); Scribner's, N.Y.
Mr. and Ms. S. Eberly Thompson collection (Ms. 7)

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