Learn more about the “books of hours”
Sections of the books of hours
Although the structure of the “books of hours” could vary, they generally included the following sections:
- Liturgical Calendar: marking the religious festivals, saints and liturgical events throughout the year
- The Canonical Hours: The prayers were organised into eight daily sections, known as the canonical hours, which included Matins, Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext, Nona, Vespers and Compline. Each hour was associated with specific times of the day.
- Offices of the Virgin Mary: Prayers and psalms dedicated to the Virgin Mary, a central figure in medieval Christian spirituality.
- Prayers and psalms dedicated to the Virgin Mary, a central figure in medieval Christian spirituality.
- Psalms and other religious texts: Fragments of psalms, liturgical texts and biblical passages that varied according to the region and the speaker.
Fine Facsimiles “illuminated” by the Geniuses of Art
These manuscripts not only served as guides to daily prayers, but were also richly detailed artistic expressions. Books of hours” were commissioned by the nobility and aristocracy, personalised with portraits and details reflecting the beliefs and tastes of the commissioner.
The illuminated manuscripts, miniatures, and decorations were often executed by the court painters: Fra Angelico, Jan van Eyck, Roger van der Weyden, the Limbourg brothers, Jean Fouquet, Michelino da Besozzo, Botticelli, among others, turning these manuscripts into true masterpiece of art.
Fine Facsimiles that were status symbols
In addition to their devotional function, the “books of hours”were also used as symbols of social status and cultural refinement.
Their possession was an indication of sophistication, and many of them have been preserved over the centuries as valuable works of art.
The Cultural and Spiritual Importance of the Books of Hours
These illuminated fine facsimiles transport us back to the Middle Ages, offering a unique insight into the personal devotion and spiritual connection of that time. Each page tells a story, capturing the intersection between the sacred and the artistic. The “books of hours” were, and continue to be, witnesses to the faith and creative expression of their patrons, becoming key pieces in understanding medieval history, culture and patronage.
Exquisite quality in their production
The exceptional quality of our fine facsimiles is a priority at Patrimonio Ediciones. We use the highest quality materials to guarantee the durability and authenticity of each reproduction. Each fine facsimile is a masterpiece in itself.