Thank you for supporting our initiative to publish :
with the collaboration of Diane Booton (Boston)
Introduction : Roger S. Wieck, curator, Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts department, Pierpont Morgan Library, New York.
LE LIVRE D'HEURES ENLUMINÉ EN BRETAGNE
THE ILLUMINATED BOOK OF HOURS IN BRITTANY
A book of private piety par excellence, the book of hours emerged as one of the best-sellers — one of the most popular works — of the Middle Ages, and in this respect, it remains an essential source for social and cultural history of medieval society. This collection of prayers and devotions, linked to the different hours of the day with its calendar, its litanies of saints, and the particulars of local liturgy, most often illuminated according to the patron’s desires, thus opens the doors of a new world to us.
Les Grandes Heures d'Anne de Bretagne. © Paris, BnF, Lat. 9474.
The proposed publication forms a corpus of nearly four hundred manuscripts connected directly to Brittany, either written for the specific use of one of the nine Breton dioceses or commissioned or just owned by Bretons. Whether illuminated by the greatest masters of the period or by local or itinerant ordinary artisans, in the atelier of the talented Jean Bourdichon (one thinks of the Grandes Heures of Anne de Bretagne) or in the more anonymous ateliers of Rennes or Nantes which were very active from the beginning of the fifteenth century, books of hours invite us to turn the pages of our history. Scattered throughout the world in the most prestigious libraries or in private collections, the unique patrimony gathered together here unveils a distinctive aspect of the history of Brittany, thus contributing to reveal richness less often explored.
Heures de Béatrice de Rieux. © Rennes, BM, ms. 2044.
Each entry contains an accurate physical description of the manuscript with particular reference to its history, accompanied by a splendid colour illustration.
Text in French and summary of entries in English.
Approximately 500 pages, measuring 22 x 30 cm., 200 illustrations in colour and black/white. Softcover or hardback.
Publication : last quarter 2016
Le livre d'heures enluminé en Bretagne //
The Illuminated Book of Hours in Brittany
© Collection Heribert Tenschert.
Heures de Caradreux. © Philadelphie, Free Library.
Jean-Luc Deuffic (Saint-Denis, France), independent scholar, historian and bibliographer, directs the series, Pecia, le livre et l’écrit for Brepols (Turnhout). Specialist in manuscripts and in medieval Breton cultural history, author of several studies of Breton bibliology.
Notes de bibliologie. Livres d’heures et manuscrits du Moyen Âge identifiés (XIXe-XVIe s.). Forward by Eberhard König. Pecia Le livre et l'écrit, 7, Turnhout, Brepols, 2010.
Les funérailles d'une reine: Anne de Bretagne (1514) : "Qu'il mecte ma povre ame en celeste lumiere": textes, images et manuscrits / Elizabeth A.R. Brown, Cynthia J. Brown, Jean-Luc Deuffic; introduction by Michael Jones / Turnhout (Belgique): Brepols Publishers, 2013 (2024).
Contact : firstname.lastname@example.org
Diane E. Booton (Boston, USA), independent scholar. Specialist in art history and the production of manuscripts and printed books of the late Middle Ages, she has published several articles and works on this theme, among which: Manuscripts, Market and the Transition to Print in Late Medieval Brittany (Ashgate, 2010) CR. She is currently working on: Brittany and Beyond: Publishing Networks in the Early Modern Book Trade, c. 1450-1550.
No one can remain unmoved by the beauty of certain illuminated pages. The dazzling colours used by these painters of the Middle Ages have sometimes retained such freshness that they make us think that the decorations have just been finished. Yet these books of hours have survived for centuries and have sometimes remained in the same family for several generations. Some have even served as ‘livres de raison’, recording the birth and marriage dates of a whole lineage.
A first-rate iconographical source, the book of hours remains an invaluable witness of the art of the Middle Ages and of the Renaissance.
Tags: paleography, heraldry, genealogy, art history, liturgy, illuminated manuscript, etc.
Crédit iconographique : Paris, BnF - Rennes, Bibliothèque Métropole - Heribert Tenschert - Philadelphia, Free Library