This document is a tranformation of a TEI P5 XML manuscript description incorporating images. If you have trouble reading special or non-Latin characters on this page, please make sure you have appropriate Unicode fonts installed and an up-to-date web browser.
Walters Ms. W.180, Grisaille Book of Hours
Grisaille Book of Hours
This pocket-sized Book of Hours was created ca. 1460-70 in Bruges, and its artist appears to have been influenced by the famed Flemish illuminator Willem Vrelant. Most notable are the thirteen delicate grisaille (gray tone) miniatures, with their matching foliate borders. Although the original owner remains unknown, an early inscription reveals that the book was gifted by an Italian lady to her female cousin within a few generations of its creation. Other manuscripts in the collection with related textual and codicological features include W.177, W.179, and W.183.
Ca. 1460-1470 CE
Supplied name: Willem Vrelant circle
The primary language in this manuscript is Latin.
Very thin to medium-weight parchment, well selected and finished; images on heavier inserted folios; flyleaves are modern parchment
Modern pencil foliation, upper right corners, rectos
Formula: Quire 1: 4 (fols. 1-4); Quires 2-3: 6 (fols. 5-16); Quire 4: 8, with first folio cancelled and ninth folio added (fols. 17-24); Quires 5-6: 8 (fols. 25-40); Quire 7: 8, with fourth folio added (fols. 41-49); Quire 8: 8 (fols. 50-57); Quire 9: 8, with eighth folio cancelled and fifth folio added (fols. 58-65); Quire 10: 8, with fourth folio added (fols. 66-74); Quire 11: 8, with second and ninth folios added (fols. 75-84); Quire 12: 8 (fols. 85-92); Quire 13: 6, with first folio added (fols. 93-99); Quire 14: 8, with second and ninth folios added (fols. 100-109); Quire 15: 10 (fols. 110-119); Quire 16: 8, with first and second folio added (fols. 120-129); Quire 17: 6, with third folio added (fols. 130-136); Quire 18: 6, with third folio added (fols. 137-143); Quires 19-23: 8 (fols. 144-183); Quire 24: 8, with second folio removed (fols. 184-191); Quire 25: 8 (fols. 192-199); Quire 26: 8, with first folio added (fols. 200-208); Quires 27-28: 8 (fols. 209-224); Quire 29: 6, with sixth folio cancelled and conjectural sewing after fol. 227 (fols. 225-229); Quire 30: 8, with first folio added (fols. 230-238);Quire 31: 8, with second folio added (fols. 239-247); Quire 32: 8, with second folio added (fols. 248-256); Quire 33: 8 (fols. 257-264); Quire 34: 4 (fols. 265-268)
Catchwords: Most still visible in lower margin on last versos of quires
6.2 cm wide by 9.2 cm high
3.6 cm wide by 5.1 cm high
- Columns: 1
- Ruled lines: 13
- Layout does not apply to calendar: textblock is 3.5 x 5.9 cm, 3 columns, 17 lines
- Title: Book of Hours
- Artist: Willem Vrelant circle
- Hand note: Italianate gothic rotunda
- Decoration note: Thirteen extant full-page grisaille miniatures (two missing); large decorated initials begin major divisions of text opposite full-page miniatures (4-5 lines); grisaille foliate borders surround miniatures and opening texts, and match across opening; versals in alternating blue and gold with red or blue penwork decoration (1 line); foliate and geometric line fillers in litany in blue and gold; rubrics in rose; text in brown ink
- Title: Calendar
- Rubric: Januarius xxxi. luna vero xxx.
- Contents: Calendar one forth to half full, graded in red and brown; contents for Bruges; saints of note include Amandus (Feb. 2), Adrian (Mar. 4), Patrick (Mar. 17), Sophia (May 15), Basil (June 14), Aegydius (Sept. 1), Marcellus (Sept. 3), Bavo and Remigius (Oct. 1), Callistus (Oct. 13, usually 14), Donatian (Oct. 14), Ambrose (Dec. 7), and Paulinus (Dec. 19)
- Title: Hours of the Virgin
- Rubric: Incipit officium gloriose virginis marie secundum usum romane curie. Ad matutinum. Vs.
- Incipit: Domine labia mea
- Contents: Use of Rome
- Decoration note: Full-page miniatures on fols. 17v, 45v, 62v, 69v, 76v, 83v, and 101v; miniature missing after fol. 89
- Title: Advent Office of the Virgin
- Rubric: Incipit officium beate marie virginis quod dicitur per totum adventum. Ad vesperas. Incipit.
- Incipit: Deus in adjutorium
- Decoration note: Full-page miniature fol. 108v
- Title: Office of the Dead
- Rubric: Incipiunt vigilie mortuorum. Ad vesperas. An.
- Incipit: Placebo domino
- Contents: Use of Rome
- Decoration note: Full-page miniature fol. 121v
- Title: Devotional sequence
- Rubric: De sancto Jeronimo. a.
- Incipit: Confessor domini jeronime astantem plebem
- Contents: Fols. 185r-v: suffrage to St. Jerome; fols. 186r-189v: prayer to the Virgin (O Intemerata); fols. 189v-194r: prayer to the Virgin (Obsecro te)
- Title: Seven Penitential Psalms
- Rubric: Incipiunt septem psalmi penitentiales. Ant.
- Incipit: Domine ne in furore
- Decoration note: Full-page miniature fol. 200v
- Title: Litany, petitions, and collects
- Rubric: Letanie.
- Incipit: Kyrieleyson
- Contents: Contents indicate Use of Rome; fols. 217r-220v: litany, with sixteen apostles, evangelists, and disciples from Peter to Mark; eleven martyrs; seven pope confessors; eight monks, hermits, priests, and levites including Benedict, Paul the Hermit, Nicholas of Tolentino, Anthony, Bernard, Francis, Dominic, and Alexis; ten virgins and widows, including Monica; fols. 220v-224v: petitions and invocations; fols. 224v-225v: imprecations; fols 226r-229v: ten collects
- Title: Hours of the Cross
- Rubric: Incipit officium de sancti cricis. Ad matutinum.
- Incipit: Domine labia mea
- Decoration note: Full-page miniature fol. 230v
- Title: Hours of the Holy Spirit
- Rubric: Incipit officium de sancto spiritu. Ad matutinum.
- Incipit: Domine labia mea
- Decoration note: Full-page miniature fol. 240v
- Title: Mass of the Virgin
- Rubric: Incipit missa gloriose virginis marie. Versus.
- Incipit: Introibo ad altare dei
- Decoration note: Full-page miniature fol. 249v
- Title: Gospel sequences
- Rubric: Secundum iohannem.
- Incipit: In principio erat verbum
The binding is not original.
Likely rebound in Belgium, seventeenth century; rebacked in modern times; wood boards (?) covered in black leather with blind-tooled ovals on both boards and spine; sewn on three cords; pink and green thread endbands; page edges gilt; remains of straps visible with fleurs-de-lis shaped attachments still in place; nineteenth-century fore-edge tabs
Created in Bruges ca. 1460-70, likely by artists in the circle of Willem Vrelant
Inscription on fol. 195v, ca. fifteenth or sixteenth century, records the book being gifted by Italian lady to her cousin: "Dy madonna angora gentili et questo libro arri cordateui delle uostre cusine chare Le quale senpre auo sera comandano"
Nineteenth- or early twentieth-century pencil inscription in English by unknown later owner, noting on back pastedown the loss of two miniatures
Léon Gruel and Edmund Engelmann collection, turn of twentieth century; their bookplate numbered "126" on front pastedown
Henry Walters, Baltimore, purchased from Gruel between 1900 and 1931
Walters Art Museum, 1931, by Henry Walters' bequest
De Ricci, Seymour, and W. J. Wilson. Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada. Vol. 1. New York: H. W. Wilson Company, 1935; p. 797, cat. no. 256.
Bowles, Edmund A. "A Checklist of Musical Instruments in Fifteenth Century Illuminated Manuscripts at the Walters Art Gallery." Quarterly of the Music Library Association 32, no. 4 (1976): 719-726; pp. 720, 723.
Sinclair, Keith Val. Prières en ancien français. Hamden, CT: Archon, 1978; p. 161 (erroneous reference).
Owens, M.B. "Musical Subjects in the Illumination of Books of Hours from Fifteenth-Century France and Flanders." Ph.D. diss, University of Chicago, 1987; p. 392.
Bousmanne, Bernard. "Prolégomènes à la constitution et à l'interprétation d'un corpus des manuscrits attribués au groupe Vrelant: Un aspect de l'enluminure dans les Pays-Bas méridionaux aux XVe siècle." Ph.D. diss., Université Catholique de Louvain, 1994; p. 23f.
Bousmanne, Bernard. Item à Guillaume Wyelant aussi enlumineur: Willem Vrelant, un aspect de l'enluminure dans les Pays-Bas méridionaux sous le mécénat des ducs de Bourgogne Philippe le Bon et Charles le Téméraire. Bibliothèque Royale de Belgique. Turnhout: Brepols, 1997; p. 61.
Randall, Lilian M. C. Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Walters Art Gallery. Vol. 3, Belgium, 1250-1530. Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press in association with the Walters Art Gallery, 1997; pp. 298-301, cat. no. 260.
Principal cataloger: Randall, Lilian M.C.
Cataloger: Herbert, Lynley
Editor: Herbert, Lynley
Copy editor: Dibble, Charles
Conservators: Owen, Linda; Quandt, Abigail
Contributors: Brown, Emily; Emery, Doug; Herbold, Rebekah; Noel, William; Schuele, Allyson; Shartrand, Emily; Tabritha, Ariel; Toth, Michael B.; Wiegand, Kimber
The Walters Art Museum
Licensed for use under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported Access Rights, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/legalcode. It is requested that copies of any published articles based on the information in this data set be sent to the curator of manuscripts, The Walters Art Museum, 600 North Charles Street, Baltimore MD 21201.