The Maastricht Hours is an early 14th-century Book of Hours written in Latin and French. The manuscript was made near Liège for the liturgical use of the city of Maastricht, from where it takes its name. It is remarkable for the large number of vibrant illuminations that cover its pages, including full-page illustrations that mark the text’s major divisions, and lavishly decorated initials and borders. There are also numerous marginal scenes depicting a variety of subjects: animals and fantastical creatures, grotesques, pairs of courtly lovers, dancers and musicians, friars and nuns, and scenes of aristocratic pursuits such as hunting and falconry. A portrait of a kneeling woman wearing a cloak (image no. 4) appears at several places throughout the manuscript (ff. 18r, 130v, 140r, 157v, 256r) and may represent the book’s original owner.
- Article by:
- Alixe Bovey
Art, music and literature blossomed in the Middle Ages, as evidenced by the wealth of sources in the British Library’s collections. Dr Alixe Bovey explores the evolution of art and culture in the Middle Ages.