Dec 30, 2021
Mar 11, 2008

Bifolio from a Book of Hours: The Crucifixion (recto), Text (verso)

Bifolio from a Book of Hours: The Crucifixion (recto), Text (verso)

c. 1435

Part of a set. See all set records

Ink, tempera, and gold on vellum

Sheet: 22 x 16.2 cm (8 11/16 x 6 3/8 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1926.244


Did you know?

The images and decorated initials in the book of hours were used to provoke meditation and prayer, leading to books of hours sometimes being referred to as “painted prayers.”


In most books of hours, the Hours of the Cross and the Hours of the Holy Spirit are much shorter than the Hours of the Virgin. Like the Hours of the Virgin, each hour consists of specific hymns, devotional poems, and prayers to be said throughout the day. Accompanying illustrations are either events surrounding the Crucifixion or the Pentecost, the descent of the Holy Spirit on the disciples of Jesus after his ascension to heaven. Traditionally, the Hours of the Cross begins with a scene of the Crucifixion of Christ. The illumination, or illustration, can help determine which series is indicated, as the Hours of the Cross and Holy Spirit begin with the same text. After 1400, such text no longer appeared solely in Latin but could be in French or Dutch, making it more accessible to laypeople.

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