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Christ Before Pilate, in the Salvin Hours

Christ Before Pilate, in the Salvin Hours

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1275

Shelfmark: Additional MS 48985

Item number: f.32v

Length: 32

Width: 20.6

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

Named for its 17th- to early 20th-century owners, the Salvin Hours is one of the largest and most richly decorated English books of hours. Its decoration, created by two artists, resembles contemporary wall paintings in the Oxford area, suggesting that it was made in a workshop there. Its original owner probably was a high-status person living in Lincoln because it also resembles 13th-century books of hours associated with that city. It lacks a calendar, which would have helped to locate its original place of use because it would have listed saints' feasts special to a particular place. The Hours of the Virgin was borrowed from the prayerbook used by monks to become the core of the Book of Hours. Prayers for the hour of terce (nine a.m.) begin with a picture in the first letter showing Christ before Pilate. In the left margin, in a slot in the border, Pilate washes his hands. The second artist, whose work this is, paints with a simpler style than the his colleague who decorated the preceding pages. The Salvin Hours illustrates the Hours of the Virgin with subjects from the Passion of Christ rather than the Childhood of Christ (Annunciation, Nativity, Magi, etc) which became the more popular programme later on.

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