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Scenes From The Passion Of Christ, In 'The De Brailes Hours' f.1r

Scenes From The Passion Of Christ, In 'The De Brailes Hours' f.1r

Medium: Ink, pigments and gold on vellum

Date: 1240

Shelfmark: Additional MS 49999

Item number: f.1r

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

William de Brailes is the only 13th-century English non-monastic illuminator known to have signed his work. His surname means 'from Brailes', a town in Warwickshire, about 30 miles north of Oxford. Documentary sources reveal that he lived and worked in Oxford, with his wife Celena, in a bookmaking community based around the present site of the chapel of All Souls College. His distinctive painting style has been recognised in several manuscripts, of which this is perhaps the most important. It is the earliest extant English Book of Hours (a book containing prayers to be said at certain hours of the day), and includes two self-portraits. The present first leaf of the manuscript (others are probably missing) starts in the middle of the Passion narrative, with the Arrest and Flagellation of Christ, the three denials of Peter, the buffeting of Christ, and Peter's remorse.

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