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Leaf from a Book of Hours

  • Object:

    Manuscript cutting

  • Place of origin:

    Paris (illuminated)

  • Date:

    ca. 1440-1450 (illuminated)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Dunois Master (illuminator)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Water-based pigments, gilding and ink on parchment

  • Museum number:

    E.4581-1910

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level E, case I, shelf 31, box D

The Dunois Master was once known as 'The principle associate of the Bedford Master'. The Bedford Master took his name from two outstanding manuscripts made for John of Lancaster, Duke of Bedford. John of Lancaster was the brother of Henry V (ruled 1413-22), who won the great victory of Agincourt against the French in 1415. The Bedford Master's style was widely practised in Paris. The Dunois Master appears to have adopted his painting style and models most closely.

The miniature on this leaf comes from a Book of Hours, a type of prayer book used by lay people. It shows scenes from the life of St Apollonia, a holy virgin who was martyred in Alexandria in Egypt during a local uprising against the Christians. Apollonia was seized and had all her teeth broken by the mob. They then erected a pile of faggots outside the city gates and threatened to burn her alive if she refused to repeat after them impious words. Apollonia sprang quickly into the fire and was burned to death.

Physical description

Leaf from a Book of Hours, showing scenes from the life of St Apollonia.

Place of Origin

Paris (illuminated)

Date

ca. 1440-1450 (illuminated)

Artist/maker

Dunois Master (illuminator)

Materials and Techniques

Water-based pigments, gilding and ink on parchment

Dimensions

Height: 120 mm, Width: 85 mm, Width: 89 mm

Historical context note

Data taken from notes compiled by Rowan Watson. The full text of the entry is as follows:

(the following text refers to E.4580-1910 to E.4583-1910)

'Leaves from a Book of Hours illustrated by the Chief Associate of the Bedford Master'

Individual item text

'E.4581-1910
BOOK OF HOURS
Leaf, with half-page miniature within gold filet (St Apolinia with torturer extracting teeth and three on lookers, within an interior with a window showing countryside, 3-line initial); in bas-de-page Apolonia being led by two men and banderoll "tormenta vestra non dubito pro nomie"; full marginal border of acanthus and flowers, with cornflowers and cockrell and bird

Rubric: Oroison de sainte Appoline. Virgo Christi egregia

France (Paris). c. 1440-1450
(120 x 85) mm; written space 65 x 45 mm; 12 lines.

Spitzer Coll; Salting Bequest to V&A 1910

Descriptive line

Leaf from a Book of Hours with half-page miniature showing a scene from the Life of St Apollonia by the Dunois Master; French (Paris); ca 1440-1450

Materials

Parchment; Ink; Pigments

Techniques

Illumination; Writing

Subjects depicted

Martyrdom

Categories

Manuscript cutting; Manuscripts; Medieval and renaissance

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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