Fol. 9

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Jean Poyer

Luke's Lesson: Luke Writing
Border: Annunciation

Hours of Henry VIII, in Latin
Illuminated by Jean Poyer

France, Tours
ca. 1500
256 x 180 mm

The Dannie and Hettie Heineman Collection; deposited in 1962, given in 1977

MS H.8 (fol. 9)
Item description: 

Illuminated around 1500 by the artist Jean Poyer, The Hours of Henry VIII receives its name from the possible but unproven eighteenth-century tradition that holds King Henry of England once owned this splendid manuscript. By following the simple instructions, you can explore every painting of this Renaissance masterpiece and learn how Books of Hours helped their readers to pray.

Books of Hours contain more or less standard texts—Calendar, Gospel Lessons, Hours of the Virgin, Hours of the Cross, Hours of the Holy Spirit, Penitential Psalms with Litany, Office of the Dead, and Suffrages—as well as a number of common accessory prayers. Based on the frequency and variety of added devotions, it appears that scribes included these for owners who wished to personalize their prayer books.

Page description: 

Luke's Lesson: Luke Writing
Border: Annunciation (fol. 9)

Seated in his study, the evangelist Luke sits with his symbol, the ox, at his feet, as he writes the Lesson (Luke 1:26–38) describing the Annunciation and ending with the Virgin's acceptance of God's will.

The events mentioned in the opening works of the text are illustrated in the borders: For In illo tempore. Missus est Gabriel angelus a D[e]o in civitatem Galilee cui nomen Nazareth (In that time the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town on Galilee called Nazareth), Poyer portrays God the Father as having a prominent role in the Annunciation, directing both Gabriel and the Dove of the Holy Spirit toward the Virgin.