Beginning in the late twelfth century secular Christians could mark the passage of the day with the reading of prayers from a book called the Book of Hours. Based on the Breviary used by Christian religious orders and clergy, the Book of Hours included a calendar marked with holidays (here we see the Annunciation to the Shepherds) and the names of saints to be commemorated on each day of year, a series of prayers in honor of the Virgin Mary to be read at set times of the day, and other prayers and readings. Compact in size, these books were originally handwritten by professional scribes.
Artist Master of the David Scenes in the Grimani Breviary and his workshop, Netherlandish
Book Binder Ludovicus Bloc, Netherlandish, active in Bruges 1484 - 1529
  • Book of Hours (use of Rome)
Date between 1500 and 1510
Medium Ink, tempera and gold on parchment with leather binding
Dimensions Sheet: 3 3/8 × 2 3/8 inches (8.6 × 6 cm)
Overall (closed): 3 5/8 × 2 5/8 × 1 1/8 inches (9.2 × 6.7 × 2.9 cm)
Credit Line Founders Society Purchase, Metropolitan Opera Benefit Fund and General Membership Fund
Accession Number 63.146
Department Prints, Drawings & Photographs
Not On View
Signed Signed, on binding, by Ludovicus Block [documented in Bruges 1484-1529].
Rev. Walter Sneyd (England);
December 16, 1903, auctioned through (Sotheby's & Co., London, England), lot 384;
purchased by C. W. Dyson Perrins (England);
December 1, 1959, auctioned through (Sotheby's & Co., London, England), lot 87;
(Bernard Quaritch, Ltd., London, England);
(Scribners, New York, New York, USA);
1963-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)
Exhibition of Illuminated Manuscripts. Exh. cat., Burlington Fine Arts Club. London, 1908, no. 239.

Warner, George, Sir. Descriptive catalogue of illuminated manuscripts in the library of C. W. Dyson Perrins. Oxford, 1920, no. 103.

Illuminated Manuscripts the Property of C.W. Dyson Perrins. Sales cat., Sotheby & Co. London, December 1, 1959, lot. 87.

The Institute Collects. Exh. cat., DIA. Detroit, 1964-65, p. 18.

Barry, M.S. "A Study of a Book of Hours of the Virgin." unpublished master's thesis, Wayne State University, Detroit, 1973 [attributed to Anonymous shop, Bruges, c.1500].

Kren, T. "A Book of Hours in the Beinecke Library (Ms 287) and an Atelier from the Ghent-Bruges School," master's thesis, Yale University, New Haven, 1974, no. 10.

Cahn, W. and J. Marrow. Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts at Yale: A Selection. 1978 [referred to as Ghent-Bruges school].

Wieck, R. Late Medieval and Renaissance Illuminated Manuscripts 1350-1525 in the Houghton Library. Cambridge, MA, 1983, p. 58 [compared with Ms Richardson 8].

Kren, T., ed. Renaissance Painting in Manuscripts; Treasures from the British Library.
Exh. cat., Pierpont Morgan Library; Royal Academy (for the British Library). London, 1983-84, pp. 59-62 [mentioned in cat. no. 7: "Hours of Joanna of Castile"].

"Family Art Game," Detroit Free Press (May 18, 1986): p. 14 (ill.). [DIA Advertising Supplement].

Randall, L.M.C. "Belgium, 1250-1530." In Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Walters Art Gallery, vol. 3. Baltimore/London, 1997, pt. 2, pp. 478-479 cat. 289 [mention in entry for W. 428], and p. 508, cat. 294 [mention in entry for W. 433].

Kren, T. and S. McKendrick. Illuminating the Renaissance: The Triumph of Flemish Manuscript Painting in Europe. Exh. cat., J. Paul Getty Museum, Royal Academy. Los Angeles, London, 2003, p. 384, footnote 12 [entry by E. Morrison; as early workshop production of Master of the David Scenes].