The Bedford Hours: the making of a medieval masterpiece
The Bedford Hours is considered by many to be the most sumptuous Book of Hours ever created by an illuminator’s hand—as well as one of the greatest treasures possessed by the British Library. It once belonged to John, Duke of Bedford, who was the younger brother of King Henry V and regent of France from 1422 until his death in 1435. Its 1,250 elaborate medallions, thirty-eight large-scale miniatures, and extensive brush gold, gold leaf, and silver decorations are extravagant enough to make it one of the most precious manuscripts of its period. Known only as the Bedford Master, the artist behind the manuscript was among the most prolific painters of his day, though his identity has long remained a mystery.
The Bedford Hours: A Medieval Masterpiece presents superb and luminous illustrations of the manuscript—seldom available in print—alongside the engrossing tale behind its creation. Eberhard König’s account of the creation of the Bedford Hours unfolds toward a number of startlingly original and unexpected conclusions, spurred by extraordinary detective work following the smallest of clues, and culminating a strong conjecture as to the identity of the Bedford Master—Haincelin of Haguenau, an artist who became an illuminator to the dauphin Louis de Guyenne, one of the figures most associated with the major illuminated manuscripts in which the Bedford Master had a hand.
This remarkable story and the sixty rich color illustrations that accompany it help to make The Bedford Hours an unforgettable account of the creation of one of our most remarkable medieval masterpieces.
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The Bedford Master and Alsace
The Bedford Style and the Beginnings
The Sharing of Ideas among Illuminators
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acanthus leaves angel Anne of Burgundy Annunciation artist Bedford Hours Bedford Master Bedford style Belles Heures blank Book of Hours borders Boucicaut Master Brussels Initials Calendar captions catalogue Paris 1400 Chateauroux Christ Cite des Dames Clovis colour dauphin decoration Douce Duc de Berry Duchess of Bedford Duke and Duchess Duke of Bedford Duke of Berry Duke of Burgundy duke's example exhibition catalogue Paris Fastolf Master Francois Avril full-page miniatures Gingins gold golden Gospel Guy de Laval Haguenau Haincelin de Haguenau Henry Holy illuminator ivyleaves Jean king KOnig Limbourg Brothers Livre de chasse Livre des merveilles Louis de Guyenne lower manu manuscript Mazarine Master Meiss Missal nationale de France painted painter Parisian patron portraits prayer quire quire 22 royal Saint George Saint John Salisbury Breviary scene script sequence Shepherds shows Sobieski Hours Terence des Ducs text pages Tres Riches Heures tures Vienna and Lisbon