The Hours of Renée de Bouchey



A Book of Hours sold at Christie's, 25 June 1997, lot 27 had already had most of its text leaves removed, and has since been been broken up. This page provides a list of the miniatures (with images of those that have been traced) and a scan of the description.


Large miniatures:
  • f.1 St John on Patmos
  • f.2 St Luke painting the portrait of the Virgin in a grisaille interior, a picture of the Annunciation in the background
  • f.3 St Matthew writing at a desk in a grisaille interior, an angel standing before him
  • f.4 St Mark trimming his pen, his lion beside him, a grisaille fresco of the Ascension in an apse behind him:
  • f.5 The Agony in the Garden
  • f.9v The Mocking of Christ
  • f.11 David and Goliath:
  • f.15v The Virgin and Christ enthroned, cherubim and seraphim behind, contemplated by the company of saints in the foreground
    • Sotheby's, 7 July 2015, lot 48:
  • f.18 The three living and the three dead
  • f.21v A funeral procession, carrying a fleur-de-lys-draped coffin into a church
  • f.24v David praying in a landscape, God above
  • £.28 David praying before a tomb, God above
  • f.31v David, nude, praying before the mouth of the beast, God above
  • f.39v The Virgin and Christ enthroned
  • f41v The Trinity seated on a rainbow, adored by a pope, cardinals and laymen below
  • f.43v The Ascension
  • f.45v The Crucifixion
  • f.48v The Deposition
  • f.50v The Entombment
  • f.52v Pentecost
  • f.55v The Annunciation, in a grisaille interior
  • f.57v The Visitation
  • f.59v The Nativity
  • f.61v The Annunciation to the Shepherds
  • f.63v The Adoration of the Magi
  • f.65v The Presentation in the Temple
  • £.67v The Flight into Egypt
  • f.69v The Tower of St Barbara
  • f.71v The Baptism of Jesus
  • f.73v Five angels bearing the body of St Katherine up a steep path to a chapel on the peak of Mt. Sinai
  • f.75v A young woman, accompanied by two male saints, standing over the body of a man lying on a path.
  • Smaller miniatures:
  • f.76 The Man of Sorrows
  • f.77 Christ holding an orb and blessing, enthroned on a rainbow
  • f.77v Christ holding an orb and blessing, half-length against a leafy landscape
  • f.78v God the Father enthroned, wearing the tiara and holding an orb
  • f.79 A male saint, wearing a white habit and black scapular, with a devil on a leash
  • f.80 St Peter enthroned, wearing the tiara and holding a key
  • f.80v Sts Philip and James, one holding a book, the other a cross
  • f.81 StThomas touching the side of the risen Christ
  • f.83 St Christopher
  • f.84 St Sebastian
  • f.85v St George on horseback, slaying the dragon
  • f.86 St Eutropius, in a grisaille interior, a man kneeling before him
  • f.87 St Eligius, in a grisaille interior
  • f.87v St Anthony, in a landscape, with a boar
  • f.88 St Aubin, in a landscape, a man kneeling before him
  • f.88v St Hubert, in a landscape, holding a hunting horn, a dog before him, an angel above handing down a red banderole
  • f.89 St Katherine, in a landscape, with a sword and wheel
  • f.90 St Katherine, in a landscape, with a sword and wheel, another pose
  • f.90v StKatherine and St Barbara, in a landscape, Katherine with sword and wheel, Barbara holding a tower
  • f.91v The Martyrdom of St Barbara
  • f.92 St Radegunde, in a landscape, wearing a black monastic habit with a blue fleur-de-lys cloak, holding a crozier and book
  • f.92v St Anne teaching the Virgin to read
  • f.93 All Saints
  • f.94 St John the Evangelist, blessing the chalice, with a group of men in a landscape and two dead men on the ground
  • f.95v St Michael slaying the dragon
  • f.96 Pieta, with the three Marys and John, before the three crosses (Obsecro te)
  • f.97 The Virgin and Child with angels, seated on a terrace before a balustrade, a mountainous landscape in the background (Salve regina)
  • f.97v The Virgin and Child with angels, seated in a landscape (Ave regina celorum)
  • f.98 The procession of St Gregory (Regina celi)
    • Sotheby's, 2 July 2013, lot 17:
  • f.98v The Virgin and Child with angels, seated in a landscape (Obsecro te; in a different but contemporary hand)
    • As above
  • f.99 The Christ child standing before Mary, who is seated with a book in a grisaille church interior (Fluat stilla de mantilla)
    • Sotheby's, 23 May 2017, lot 30:
  • f.99v The Virgin and Child enthroned with angels (Ave domina sancta Maria)
    • As above:
  • f.100 The Virgin and Child in glory, adored by kneeling men and women, a landscape in the background (Inviolata integra et casta)
  • f.100v The Virgin and Child with angels, seated in a garden (Virgo mitis et benigna)
  • f.101 The Virgin in glory, surrounded by cherubim (Gaude virgo mater Christi)

[Christie's' 1997 description:]

JEAN COLOMBE and his workshop, BOOK OF HOURS, use of Bourges. ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM [Bourges, ca. 1480]

167 x 102mm. 87 leaves, including one original blank [f.82] (lacking an undetermined number of text leaves), plus 20 later blank leaves; later foliation: [6], 101 ff. Collation, including intercalated blanks: 1\6/ 2\4/ 3-4\6/ 5\8/ 6\4/ 7\8/ 8\3/ 9\4/ 10\6/ 11\2/ 12-17\4/ 18-20\4/ 21\4/ (of 6, v and vi cancelled) 22\8/; in gatherings 8-17 (ff.37-75), which contain all the added blanks and from which substantial amounts of text are lacking, the original conjugacy and order of the leaves has been substantially altered. 31 lines, single column, ruled in brown ink, justification: 140 x 73mm, written in brown ink in a bâtarde hand, rubrics in blue, one-, two-, three- or four-line initials in liquid gold on grounds of red, blue or brown, with similar line-fillers, 31 THREE-QUARTER-PAGE MINIATURES, 35 HALF-PAGE MINIATURES (some flaking of pigment; several miniatures very slightly cropped at the top; some staining of text pages or offset of text onto blank leaves in ff. 38-75). 17th-century French gold-tooled binding, gilt edges; a remboîtage (corners rubbed, spine wormed head and tail, small split upper joint, lacking ties)

PROVENANCE:
The calendar, in French, names a saint for every day of the year; in blue are St Genevieve (Jan. 3), St Ives (May 19), St Eloi (June 25), St Martin July 4), St Louis (August 25), St Leu and St Gilles (Sept. 1), St Denis (Oct. 9), St Marcel (Nov. 3), St Martin (Nov. 11), and St Eloi (Dec. 1). The use of the Office of the Dead is Bourges; the text of the Office of the Virgin is missing from the manuscript. 16th-century inscription on flyleaf, names obliterated; early inscriptions on f.4v (signed Renee de Bouchey) and f. 10v. Purchased in Lyons according to a 20th-century pencilled inscription on the flyleaf.

TEXT:
Calendar; Gospel sequences (ff.1-4v); Passion according to St John (ff.5-10v); Penitential Psalms (ff.11-15); Litany (ff.15v-17v); Office of the Dead (ff.18-37v); miniatures with text fragments on backs, interleaved with later blanks (ff.38-75); Suffrages and prayers to the Virgin (ff.76-101v). Originally the manuscript also included the Hours of the Virgin, the Hours of the Cross, the Hours of the Holy Spirit, the Office of St Barbara and the Office of St Katherine.

ILLUMINATION:
The iconographic scheme shows that this was once a luxuriously illuminated book of hours, with full cycles of illustration for each of the offices it included. It was subsequently reduced to a book of pictures by the removal of the texts of all the offices except the Office of the Dead. From the offices of the Virgin, the Holy Cross, the Holy Spirit, St Barbara, and St Katherine, most of the miniatures remain; many of these have been remounted on stubs, often reversed recto for verso, and have been bound out of order. The blank vellum leaves that occur between the miniatures in the central section of the manuscript (ff. 38-75) were formerly glued down to the versos of these miniatures in order to conceal the text there; these fragments of text are the only passages surviving from the missing offices.

The style and iconography of the miniatures place this Book of Hours in the workshop of Jean Colombe. The miniatures of the Virgin and Christ enthroned with the company of saints (f.15v) and the Man of Sorrows (f.76) closely resemble those attributed to Colombe in the Très Riches Heures of Jean, duc de Berry, and in Pierpont Morgan Library, M.677. St Luke painting the portrait of the Virgin (f.2) shares the layout and composition of the corresponding subject in M.677, and many other details of style, e.g., the use of grisaille interiors and the foreshortening of upturned faces, correspond to features of Colombe’s work. The miniatures of the mocking of Christ (f.9v), the funeral procession (f.21v), the crucifixion (f.45v), the deposition (f48v), and the entombment (f.50v), are very close to those in another fragmentary Colombe Book of Hours, one that also included the Office of St Katherine (Antiquariat Heribert Tenschert, Katalog XXX [Leuchtendes Mittelalter, V], no. 24). The delicacy and precision of handling in many of the finest miniatures of the present manuscript allow their attribution to Jean Colombe himself: these include the Evangelists, (ff.2, 3 and 4), David and Goliath (f.28), the Virgin and Christ enthroned (f.39), the Nativity (f:59v), Christ in half-length (f.77), St Catherine (f.90) and the Virgin and Child with angels (f.97v).

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