The Sforza Hours - Pages 9 and 10
Copyright © The British Library Board
folio 10v, Horenbout, St
On the left-hand page St Mark, like St Matthew, is painted seated in an elaborate Italian Renaissance interior. Horenbout was probably influenced by the setting of Birago's St Matthew, and used the architecture to produce an effect that complements the work of the earlier artist. The geometrical pattern of the floor and the structure of the cross-vaulted ceiling are similar to those in Birago's St Matthew, but in the miniature of St Mark, the most lavish decoration is reserved for the columns.
The costume of the Evangelist, with soft cap, fur trim, and green cloak, is of the type popular amongst the middle classes of Flanders in Horenbout's time.
The lion was the symbol of St Mark, referring to the idea of Christ as the lion of Judah.
This inscription has puzzled scholars. Some scholars have suggested that it is a coded version of the artist's name, together with the year, 1519, in which he painted the miniature.
Gilded decoration adorns the columns, reflecting the Italian architecture of the time.
The right-hand page contains part of St Mark's Gospel. This leaf is one of the replacements for Margaret of Austria. Unlike folio 7v on which the text was transcribed by the original Italian scribe, this page had its text transcribed by Etienne de Lale. Etienne was paid by Margaret for his work on the Hours in 1517. His style of script is clearly an imitation of the original Italian script.