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Leaf from a Book of Hours: Calendar Page for May (recto)

Leaf from a Book of Hours: Calendar Page for May (recto)

c. 1510

Part of a set. See all set records

Ink, tempera and liquid gold on vellum

Leaf: 18.1 x 12.9 cm (7 1/8 x 5 1/16 in.)

The Jeanne Miles Blackburn Collection 2011.65.a

Description

A calendar containing feast days for the liturgical year is the first section of a book of hours. Here, the major feast days are listed in gold; the lesser ones alternate in red and blue. When illustrated, calendars contain representations of zodiac signs and the labors or activities for that month, used as visual aids for the reader.

Richly decorated literary texts and books of hours, such this leaf, were made in Rouen, an established, important center of book production in the late 1400s–early 1500s. The cathedral there maintained an extensive library and commissioned large numbers of books. The booksellers and manuscript workshops would have been concentrated near the cathedral.

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