About This Artwork

Simon Vostre
French, flourished 1486-1518

Book of Hours, Use of Paris, 1508

Woodcut and letterpress in black with brush and gouache, and pen and ink on vellum (discolored at edges), in eighteenth-century full red goatskin, sewn on raised bands, with Cambridge-style gold tooling, rolled edges in gold, gold stamped spine decoration, hand-sewn silk headbands, and marbled endsheets
226 x 300 mm

Clarence Buckingham Collection, 1945.224

Books of hours printed on vellum capitalized on the desirability of more expensive illuminated manuscripts. The coloring of this example is limited to blue and red in the initials, while its full-page woodcuts, such as this Nativity, help organize the book’s religious content, including the devotional calendar. Simon Vostre reprinted the metalcut borders from his earlier printed books of hours opposite woodcuts from Vostre’s Grandes Heures, now attributed to Jean Pichore. The cutting of the Pichore blocks is finely detailed, with figures and architectural motifs larger than the three-quarter-page metalcuts from the 1490s, suggesting that the clientele had new expectations of an Italianate Renaissance style.

— Exhibition label, Altered and Adorned: Using Renaissance Prints in Daily Life, April 30, 2011–July 10, 2011, Galleries 124–127.

Interpretive Resources

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