15th Century

Livre-autel de Phillippe le Bon

Buchaltärchen = Livre-autel. Livre-Autrel de Philippe le BonLuzern : Faksimile Verlag, c1991.  
ND 3380 B82 145Oa Special Collections Oversize

This is a facsimile of personal prayer-book/diptych belonging to Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy. Philip the Good was one of the later Valois family Dukes, (1419-67). The Valois branch of the Capetian dynasty acceded to the French throne in 1328 with Philip VI (r. 1328-50) and ruled until the death of Henry III in 1589. It is a combination of a panel diptych and a book which could serve as a sort of altar for personal devotions. The miniatures of the diptych date back to around 1430 and are thus about 20 years older than the miniatures of the book portion. This means that Philip had two existing devotional pictures integrated into his book altar when it was commissioned. It can be assumed that they were so precious to him that he wanted to have them before his eyes every time he said his prayers, so he had them integrated into the devotional book. In all the miniatures of the prayer book, Philip appears in prayer, either on his own or together with his son Charles, either in a Gregorian Mass or in veneration of different saints. The codex was written in magnificent Gothic Textura; initials of various size and embellished endings provide rich ornamental decoration. The original artifact is at the National Library in Vienna Austria. One of the 980 copies of the facsimile which is now out-of-print was recently on sale via the internet for over $2000.

 

 
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