Christmas Countdown: 7 More Sleeps!


French Book of Hours, folio 37 recto (the front-side of the 37th leaf), second half of 15th century

I just realized that, while I feature Books of Hours all the time on this blog, I’ve never really gone into depth about what they are. Now, if I were to describe a Book of Hours, I would just say that it’s a personal prayer book, but I feel like that description would leave my readers unsatisfied. So, to satisfy all of y’all, I’ll just copy and paste what Glenn Gunhouse wrote for Medievalist.net:

In the Gothic period, and especially in the thirteenth century, there was a strong desire on the part of lay people to imitate the devotional practices of monks and nuns. The breviary was far too complex for use by lay people, however. A simpler book was therefore developed which, though resembling a breviary, was far less variable, and therefore easier to use. This new type of book was the “Book of Hours.”

Nicely worded, Glenn. Readers – if you want to know more about Books of Hours, check out Medievalist.net. Glenn talks a lot about the structure of a typical Book of Hours, and also provides a lot of useful links if you want to learn even more.

Now, the picture above.

For a man who is supposed to be 60+, Joseph is looking great for his age. I’m pretty sure I’ve dated guys that look older than Joseph does in this picture. Which is kind of creepy, I guess.

Also, I couldn’t help but notice how old Baby Jesus looks. I think this miniature’s artist had a little bit of trouble when it came to accurately portraying people’s ages.

And you know what else he had trouble with?

Remembering to draw Baby Jesus’ hands.

A Baby Jesus with no hands? Now that is creepy.

Advertisements


Have something to say?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s