Jan 7, 2022

Bifolio from a Book of Hours: Initial V with Floral Border (recto); Text (verso)

Bifolio from a Book of Hours: Initial V with Floral Border (recto); Text (verso)

c. 1460-1500

Part of a set. See all set records

Ink, tempera and gold on vellum

Each leaf: 13.9 x 10.6 cm (5 1/2 x 4 3/16 in.)

The Jeanne Miles Blackburn Collection 2006.12



Every medieval book of hours contained a section known as the Office of the Dead. This section was usually inserted toward the back of the book following the penitential Psalms and litanies, which set a tone of contrition, penitence, and forgiveness of sin. The Office of the Dead was intended to be recited principally in the context of a funeral. Its texts, comprising psalms and other readings, consisted of the hour of vespers (for recitation over the coffin the evening preceding a funeral mass), followed by matins and lauds (prayed the actual morning of a funeral mass). However, the office was undoubtedly also prayed by many medieval men and women in the privacy of a chapel or bedroom, as a reminder of mortality and as protection against sudden death. The very beginning of this page's text is the abbreviated Latin antiphon for matins: Dirige, D[omi]ne Deus meus, in conspectu tuo viam meam (Direct, O Lord my God, my steps in your sight). This is followed by the enlarged letter V for Verba mea auribus (Hear my words).

See also

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email imageservices@clevelandart.org.