Books of hours

Monday, 13 September 2010

One thing I have always loved are these medieval books of hours.

A collection of illustrations of seasonal daily life, texts, and prayers they are lavishly decorated and were made for wealthy patrons.

Often they have illustrations showing the activities in each month. I always like the paintings for May - they never seem to be doing any work, and the illustrations always depict people having fun on the river, courting scenes or just general all round frolics!

October, on the other hand was clearly not a month for ANY fun and just consisted of ploughing the fields under a gloomy grey sky.

One day I would love to do one myself, but as they no doubt took a team of monks years to do, it's probably unlikely!

Images: Bruges circa 1515 source unknown, Belgian circa 1440 source unknown, The Gold book of hours via, Les tres riches heures source unknown, and image via tideblog.


estibaliz said...

Maybe you should try it!!

Beautiful post!

Mlle Paradis said...

yes beautiful post. you could try your own book of hours, but you might have to join a monastery first!