The Book of Hours





The book of hours was a prayer book containing appropriate prayers for specific hours of the day, days of the week, months and seasons. Books of hours were usually beautifully illuminated. Some of the most famous pieces of illuminated work is with the finest work of medieval art in existence.

The books of hours was made by scribes in monasteries for the monks. Monks divided their day into eight different segments or hours of prayer; Matins, Leuds, Prime, Terce, Sect, Nones, Compline, and Vespers. A monk would set a book of hours on a lectern or table and read from it aloud at each of these hours, the books were large in format and size.

The earliest book recorded to have been made was the book of hours which was created in the 13th century. In the 14th Century smaller versions of the book was created and in the 15th century these books were very popular they outnumbered all the other books which illuminated lettering.

My first impression of the book of hours is that the lettering is very detailed and floral, what captures my attention is the mixture of bright and subtle colours and how you can tell how much time, effort and detail has gone into each page. This work brings to mind piece, nature, peace and religion. This work makes you feel quite relaxed with all the swift curves and drawings.

The work containing in these pages is realistic, old, historic, the story behind the work is the prayers that the monks did (above). The hints that show this work was made in the 13th century is the old looking paper how the colours look like they have faded over time and how not many books are originally drawn and written in that manner sadly anymore.

I think this book is beautiful and there is an elegance in this book that you wouldn’t find in a modern book, it is very much like the book of kells however the purpose of making them is different but they both have beautiful illuminated letters made/used by monks.






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