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


Did you know?

The Office of the Dead, usually at the end of books of hours, contains the same set of prayers the ordained used during funeral rites.


The word dirge, today meaning a mournful hymn for funerals, comes from the opening Latin in the Office of the Dead, seen just after the decorative letter A at upper left. During the Middle Ages, dirge became the shortened way to refer to the Office of the Dead. Although primarily recited at funerals, the office was also prayed at home as a reminder of mortality and a protection against sudden death. Surrounding the text, which contains Psalm 5, is a border decoration of acanthus leaves, believed to grow in paradise, as well as a parrot, a squirrel, a beetle, and flowers.

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