Prayer Book of Anne de Bretagne
Illuminated by Jean Poyer
The Pierpont Morgan Library, Purchased in 1905
This prayer book was commissioned by Anne de Bretagne, wife of two successive kings of France, Charles VIII and Louis XII, to teach her son, the dauphin Charles-Orland (1492–1495), his catechism. It was painted in Tours by Jean Poyer, an artist documented as working for the queen. The book is richly illustrated, and its thirty-four airy, light-flooded miniatures are among the most delicate examples of late-fifteenth-century art.
Poyer begins the Prayer Book of Anne de Bretagne with an image of the Three Persons of the Holy Trinity, which is a fundamental doctrine of Christianity. The picture illustrates the Our Father.
Poyer's Trinity is unusual. Instead of differentiating among the Three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, he represents each as a young man with long hair.
Each figure of Poyer's Trinity holds an orb adorned with a cross, signifying Christ's salvation of the world.