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Bibles & Books: The Great Hours of Anne of Brittany

Updated: Nov 16, 2022

Video from Ziereis Facsimiles

"The Great Hours of Anne of Brittany was made by Jean Bourdichon between 1503 and 1508. It is the private prayer book of the Duchess and is adorned with nearly 50 full-page #miniatures. The pictures are reminiscent of great panel paintings in their quality. The book of hours is considered to be one of art history’s most important illuminated #manuscripts. You can find this and many other facsimiles under:" from video introduction

The Great Hours of Anne of Brittany (created between 1503 and 1508 in Tours, France) is undoubtedly a masterpiece of French painting, as is fitting for a manuscript intended for someone who was twice queen of France: with Charles VIII and then Louis XII. The manuscript was created by Master Jean Bourdichon, who was the court painter to Louis XI, Charles VIII, Louis XII and Francis I. His paintings clearly contributed to the Gothic to Renaissance evolution.

The folios of this codex feature veritable paintings rather than the miniatures usual in this type of book. Jean Bourdichon painted almost fifty full-page scenes with gold frames upon a ground of parchment dyed black. These miniatures are comparable to paintings on canvas or board not only because of their dimensions but also because of their foregrounds, use of perspective, pictorial technique, realism of the portraits, etc.." from the article: The Great Hours of Anne of Brittany


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