This prayer book, preserved in the Morgan, was commissioned by Anne of Brittany, wife of two successive kings of France–Charles VIII and Louis XII–and thus twice Queen of France, for herself and her son Charles-Orland. It was made in Tours from 1492 to 1495. The book fascinates in its rich illustration and its thirty-four airy, light flooded miniatures, which are among the most delicate examples to be found at the end of the 15th century.
They are the work of an excellent illuminator of the time, Jean Poyer. His extraordinary talent is shown in his extremely spacious and vaporous landscapes. The soft carnation Dof his faces, the graciously presented figures, the bright and frequently unusual combination of colors used for clothing, and the architecture of Italian influence so typical of his miniatures, announce the advent of the Renaissance in France.
The commentary comprises articles by Roger S. Wieck, a Morgan curator of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts, and Michelle Hearne, as well as a full transcription and translation of all the prayers to help make the manuscript accessible to today's readers. The complete edition, consisting of a facsimile and a commentary volume, is available in a decorative case covered with scarlet leather.
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Hidden Likeness: Photographer Emmet Gowin at the Morgan