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The Book of Hours Textbook Binding – June, 1976

5.0 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Textbook Binding
  • Publisher: Ty Crowell Co (June 1976)
  • ISBN-10: 0690015046
  • ISBN-13: 978-0690015041
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,683,652 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
Lovers of late Medieval music - from Machaut and Ciconia to Dufay and Ockeghem - should take advantage of the dirt cheap prices of this coffee-table volume of full-color reproductions of pages from illuminated manuscripts of the same era. Essentially, a Book of Hours was a personal prayer book, a visual aid to religious meditation at designated moments in the day, for the use of pious lay people. The more prosperous of the pious would have more elegant prayer books, and the princes and princesses of the realm would commission superbly painted and calligraphed volumes on vellum. These precious books were artistic treasures equal to the greatest frescoes and carvings, and there are precious few of them intact. John Harthan's "The Book of Hours" is a survey of thirty-four such museum treasures dating from c. 1300 to 1508, including 'pictures' from each, with an account of its origins and an analysis of the techniques employed by the illuminators. The brilliance of colors and sophistication of perspective in some of these miniatures will astound you, and once you look at The Black Hours of Charles the Rash and other 'experimental' efforts of illumination, you'll never again see computer art as something utterly new and different.

People who live in the Los Angeles region, or who visit there, have the privilege of viewing one of the world's best collections of illuminated manuscripts at the Huntington Library. The rest of us have to make do with color plates. I can't imagine a better way to appreciate a recording by The Orlando Consort, The Clerks' Group, or Project Ars Nova - the most outstanding performers of 14th-16th C music - than to leaf through this lovely book while listening. A glass of fortified claret or charteuse, proper Medieval drinks, would be a gracious accompaniment.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've been researching Books of Hours in an endeavor to recreate one as an art project. I've purchased 4 books on the subject and so far this has been the best one. It provides a detailed description on the history, and most common format and contents of Books of Hours. There are copious color images from a variety of books of hours (only a couple images per sample book) focussing mainly on the pages with miniatures but also some of the other more calligraphy intensive pages and full-page spreads showing peeks at binding. I wish there were more information and images on the books' covers and binding techniques but as for the internal content this book has been very satisfactory. The larger format lets details be viewed quite closely.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book not only offers images of some of the world's most beautiful Books of Hours, but it is also one of the most concise and clear introductions to the history of these texts, and a description of the typical contents of these books.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In the absence of being able to hold and look closely at an illustrated manuscript, this book is a good stand in. The illustrations are large and one can get a good view of the detail up close. The accompanying descriptions and explanations are accurate and informative. I am very happy with this purchase. It was very helpful in my medieval manuscript project.
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