Leaf from a Book of Hours: St. Barbara (6 of 6 Excised Leaves)

Leaf from a Book of Hours: St. Barbara (6 of 6 Excised Leaves)

c. 1420-30

Henri d'Orquevaulx or Workshop

(French)

Ink, tempera, silver, and gold on vellum

Leaf: 16.1 x 12.4 cm (6 5/16 x 4 7/8 in.)

The Jeanne Miles Blackburn Collection 2011.57

Location

Description

This group of leaves survives from what must have been an extraordinarily rich book of hours. The elaborate Passion cycle and Suffrages point to an important commission. Evidence within the calendar and texts suggests that Metz was probably the place of production. Situated on the Moselle River, Metz was the cultural and commercial capital of Lorraine during the 1400s, as well as the location of an important bishopric. It was thus the center of a growing book trade. The illuminations appear to come from the workshop of Henri d'Orquevaulx, a documented Metz manuscript painter. Little is known about d'Orquevaulx's life or career. Compositionally, structurally, and stylistically, the miniatures suggest strong links to Netherlandish illumination. Details such as the tub, ewer, towel, and fireplace in the Nativity are typical of the northern love of crowded and unusual compositions, as well as domestic details. It is not known whether d'Orquevaulx came originally from the Netherlands or whether he simply worked or trained there at some point in his career.

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