Book of Hours

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MS M.421
Book of Hours
Bruges, Belgium, ca. 1450.
19th-century brown stamped morocco by Capé; lettered: Preces Piae.
Purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) in 1910.
76 leaves (1 column, 17-18 lines), bound : vellum, ill. ; 159 x 110 mm
Owned in the 16th and 17th centuries by members of the Van Esschede, Hart, and Moons families of the Overissel province of Holland (inscriptions on fol. 31); purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) from Alexandre Imbert in July 1910; J.P. Morgan (1867-1943).

Ms. book of hours for the use of Tournai; written and illuminated in Bruges, Belgium, ca. 1450.
Decoration: 2 full-page and 6 large miniatures.
Artist: the Master of Jean Chevrot executed five miniatures, fol. 13v (Holy Face), 15v (Trinity), 23v (St. George), 25v (St. Nicholas), 27v (St. Adrian); two miniatures are by an anonymous hand.
Some of the miniatures may have been retouched; the Crucifixion on fol. 19v is possibly a 19th-century copy--Cf. PML files.


The Master of Jean Chevrot was named after the frontispieces he painted in a two-volume manuscript (today in Brussels) of St. Augustine's City of God that was made in 1445 for Bishop Jean Chevrot of Tournai. The Chevrot Master had firsthand knowledge of the art of Jan van Eyck, having collaborated with him on the Turin-Milan Hours, an infamous manuscript that took seven artistic campaigns and over fifty years to complete (partially destroyed; the surviving portion is in Turin). Especially Eyckian is the Chevrot Master's attention to detail, as seen in George's armor, the birds in the sky, and the dragon's genitals.