Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections

Hours of the Holy Spirit, Castle Hours #2

Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

MS 20 France, s. XVmed

Castle hours #2, use of Rouen

1. ff. 1r-12v Calendar in French for Rouen and Amiens.

Feasts alternate in purple and blue with major feasts in gold. Saints include: Fremin (Jan. 13 and Sept. 25), Translatio Anne (30 Jan.), Sever (1 Feb.), Martial (3 July), Romani (23 Oct.), Ursin (30 Dec.).

2. ff. 13r-14r later inserts in lettre bâtarde.

f. 13r Prayers to guardian angel, "De bono angelo": Angele qui me custodis te que devotissime... trahat ab hoc quod odis. Angele qui meus es custos... celestia scandere regna [similar to Wilmart 556-58] and Ductor noster et Protector domine deus qui... Per dominum nostrum Iesu. f. 13v blank. f. 14r Prayers to Mary Magdalen, "De sancta Maria Magdalena": [M]aria ergo unxit pedes Iesu... dilexit multum; and [L]argire nobis clementissime pater... per omnia secula seculorum. f. 14v blank.

3. ff. 15r-20v Gospel Pericopes:

John 1.1-14, Luke 1.26-38, Matthew 2.1-12, Mark 16.4-20.

4. ff. 21v-28r

Obsecro te [masculine forms, Leroquais, LH 2.346-7] and O Intemerata [Leroquais, LH 2.336-7]. Folio 28v ruled but blank.

5. ff. 29r-68v Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary, use of Rouen.

Lacuna between ff. 35 and 36. Text ends in second lesson of Matins: nobis sanctarum sanctis// and resumes at beginning of Te Deum. Suffrages at Lauds beginning on f. 47v: Holy Spirit, Holy Trinity, Michael, John the Baptist, Nicholas, Catharine, De la paix. f. 69 ruled but blank.

6. ff. 70r-86v Penitential Psalms and Litany.

Audoenus, Mellone, Romanus among confessors; Austreberta among virgins.

7. ff. 87r-92v Short Office of the Cross.

8. f. 93r-121r Office of the Dead, use uncertain.

The responses to the lessons in Matins: 1. Credo quod, 2. Qui Lazarum, 3. Domine quando, 4. Heu michi, 5. Ne recorderis, 6. Libera me, 7. Peccantem me, 8. Requiem eternam, 9. Libera me.

9. f. 121v-126v Fifteen Joys of the Virgin ends abruptly on f. 126v

... Douce dame pries lui que il me vueille mes chinq// [Leroquais, LH 2.310-11].

Parchment. f. ii (i=pastedown) + 125 + ii (ii=pastedown), 158 x 109 (100 x 65) mm., modern foliation in lead. Written in 16 lines, ruled in red ink with single vertical bounding lines.

I12, II2, III-VIII8, IX8 (-8), X-XVI8, XVII8 (-7, 8).

Written by a single scribe in textualis quadrata.

The text is decorated with 8 illustrations in arched gold frames set above three (on f. 15r, four) lines of text and surrounded by a patterned border. (1) On f. 15r the first four lines of the Gospel of John lie below a series of four compartments separated by thin double black lines dividing the space horizontally and vertically. Inside each box, one of the four evangelists sits, writing on his scroll, each with his attribute. (2) The Annunciation introduces Matins on f. 29 r: a blue-robed Mary turns from her prie-dieu inside the church to Gabriel. (3) Prime begins on f. 51r below a nativity scene in which Mary and Joseph kneel on either side of the baby. An ox and donkey and two kneeling women look on. (4) The Penitential Psalms on f. 70r are illustrated by David praying in the synagogue, his harp on the altar before him; a hovering angel acts as mediator between the psalmist and God who may be seen inside an oval in the upper left corner of the picture. (5) The Office of the Holy Cross on f. 87r is illustrated by the Crucifixion: Christ on the cross, a skull at its base, dramatically bisects this picture, the three women gaze up at him from the left as soldiers and mountains on either side of the cross echo its lines; the night sky stretches out above. (6) A scene of Pentecost accompanies the beginning of the Office of the Holy Spirit on f. 90r. (7) The illustration for the Office of the Dead on f. 93r is of a burial. A grave digger holds a shrouded corpse surrounded by priests, white robed clergy, and black robed mourners. In the upper right an angel wrestles with a black devil over the dead man's soul. (8) The final illumination on f. 122v for the Joys of the Virgin depicts the lamentation of the Virgin. Again the mountains and the cross in the background make a dramatic accompaniment to the Virgin seated with the crucified Christ stretched across her lap.

The simple colors throughout: rose, melon, pale blues, pale greens, light browns and grays with only a touch of gold, provide a foil for the dramatic symmetry of the composition in these illustrations, suggesting a skillful and sophisticated artistry for this book. Each illustration is surrounded by borders on four sides, independent of initials. The borders, all different, are of two basic types, either a solid color border with fruit, flowers and acanthus leaves or a border divided into a geometric patterns of different colors filled with either flowers, fruit or acanthus leaves. The solid borders are: f. 15 gray-blue, f. 29 gold, f. 87 brown, f. 90 orange, f. 122 black; the geometric: f. 51 brown and unpainted, f. 70 white, orange, red, and unpainted, f. 93 gold, brown, red, and black. The text underneath the illustrations begins with a 4-line (f. 15r) or 3-line foliate blue and white monochromatic initial on a gold ground decorated with flowers; the initial is outlined in red ink, the ground with black. The Obsecro te, the Intemerata, and the remaining leaves of the Hours of the Virgin are surrounded by a border of blue and gold acanthus leaves, and blue, pink, red and green fruit, flowers and leaves surround the text; 3-line initials similar to those described accompany the text. In addition many other pages have outside margin borders of a similar design that run the length of the text; 2-line initials blue with white penwork on a gold ground embellished with red and blue flowers add to the decoration of these pages. 1-line gold initials on blue and pink ground with white penwork outlined with black begin all verses; line fillers in the same design end most verses. Rubrics (often in French) in red throughout.

Binding: Early eighteenth-century gold-tooled calf.

Written and illustrated in Rouen in mid-fifteenth century, as suggested by the style of the decoration and the miniatures, probably for the trade; note the monochrome initials, the compartmentalized Evangelists, the calendar, the litany, and perhaps the Office of the Virgin. Three unidentified sale notices for other, unrelated manuscripts are pasted inside the front cover. Early provenance unknown. Owned by Ethelinda Schaefer Castle of Hawaii, and given by bequest to Bryn Mawr College in 1971.


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Last Update: January 23, 2018