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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:


  • Gallery location:

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

The Dunois Master was once known as 'The Chief 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 Stephen, who was the earliest Christian martyr. His life is described in the New Testament book of the Acts of the Apostles. He was accused of speaking blasphemous words against the God of Moses and was taken in front of the Sanhedrin (the highest court of justice and supreme council in ancient Jerusalem). He was stoned to death.

Physical description

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

Place of Origin

Paris (illuminated)


ca. 1440-1450 (illuminated)


Dunois Master (illuminator)

Materials and Techniques

Water-based pigments, gilding and ink on parchment


Height: 121 mm, Width: 88 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

Leaf, cropped, with half-page miniature of the stoning of St Stephen, with bas-de-page scenes of the Saint preaching from a pulpit and conversing with two men. Principal associate of the Bedford Master (Dunois Master)

Rubric: Oroison de saint Estienne. Sernans in celum

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
Pub: 1923 cat, 66; Burlington Fine Arts Club, 1908, no. 220; Hindman, `Medieval and Renaissance miniature painting' (Bruce Ferrini & Sam Fogg, 1988), pp. 123, 125-7; James Marrow, `Hours of Simon de Varie' (Malibu, 1994), pp.17, 98 n.21'

Descriptive line

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


Parchment; Ink; Pigments


Illumination; Writing

Subjects depicted



Manuscript cutting; Manuscripts; Medieval and renaissance


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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