This manuscript is a collaborative effort of two talented illuminators with distinctive styles. Ninety-seven historiated initials (letters containing scenes) are by the Master of the Boston City of God, a painter who worked in Utrecht. Four full-page miniatures (small paintings), including the Nativity, have recently been attributed to the Master of Gijsbrecht van Brederode. The background of the Nativity depicts a distant cityscape (perhaps Utrecht), adjacent to which may be seen the Journey of the Magi and the Annunciation to the Shepherds. In the left margin, the Virgin Mary appears to Emperor Augustus and the Tiburtine Sibyl, who, according to legend, foretold the coming of Christ.
Like all books of hours made for the use of Utrecht, this volume is not written in Latin, but in a Dutch littera textualis, an elegant Gothic bookhand.
CMA, 1981: "When Angels Bent Near the Earth to Touch Their Harps of Gold: The Christmas Story," no catalogue
Utrecht, The Netherlands, Rijksmuseum het Catharijnconvent, December 10, 1989 - February 11, 1990: "The Golden Age of Dutch Manuscript Painting," catalogue number 66, pp. 212-213
Also to: New York, NY, Pierpont Morgan Library, March 1 - May 6, 1990
CMA, 1991: "Scriptorium: The Illuminated Book in Medieval Art," no catalogue
CMA, 1996: "Landscape in Detail," September 10-Nov. 3, 1996, no catalogue
Cleveland Museum of Art, (11/06/2010 - 04/17/2011); "The Glory Of the Painted Page: Manuscript Illuminations from the Permanent Collections"
Main Gallery Rotation (gallery 115): December 16, 2013 - December 8, 2014.