Fol. 26

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Jean Poyer

"Stabat mater": Lamentation
Border: Deposition

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. 26)
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: 

"Stabat mater": Lamentation
Border: Deposition (fol. 26)

The half-page miniature that marks the opening of the "Stabat mater": depicts the Lamentation. The Virgin, flanked by John the Evangelist and Mary Magdalene, holds the dead Christ on her lap. Behind them, on Golgotha, looms the empty Cross; the two thieves have yet to be taken down.

The border illustrates the event that took place just before the Lamentation, the Deposition. The Virgin, again accompanied by John and the Magdalene, awaits the delivery of her dead Son's body by Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea.