Manuscripts and Princes in Medieval and Renaissance Europe

Book of hours of Frederic of Aragon

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French National Library, Manuscripts, 10532

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Book of hours of Frederic of Aragon
Tours, ca. 1501-1502
Giovanni Todeschino, Jean Bourdichon and Master of Claude of France
BnF, Latin 10532
Parchment, 388 p., 255 x 170 mm
Provenance : Frederic of Aragon ; Spain or Italy during 16th c. ; Joseph Bonaparte, king of Italy (1806-1808), then of Spain (1808-1813) ; kept by Wellington at the battle of Vittoria ? (1813) ; Robert Ferguson, eglish collector ; purchased in 1828.

This book of hours was made for Frederic of Aragon, former king of Naples. A book of hours is a liturgical book made for lay people containing the text of prayers for each hour of the day, and particularly the hours of the Virgin. The king fled the kingdom of Naples to the arrival of French troops in 1495, and was exiled in Plessis-les-Tours from the end of 1501 to his death in November 1504. Three artists collaborated on this manuscript. The Italian Giovanni Todeschino,who followed the king in France between winter 1501 and spring 1502, created the very Italian iconographic program and illuminated himself some of the frames and frontispieces. The French famous artist Jean Bourdichon, who later realized the Grandes Heures of Anne of Britany, illuminated the figurative scenes which were glued on the pages. An assistant of Bourdichon, called master of Claude of France, worked on the illuminations of a part of the frames for which he copied the style of Todeschino.