Hours of Catherine of Cleves

Karl over at Got Medieval! just posted that the Morgan Library and Museum is digitizing the entire manuscript of the Hours of Catherine of Cleves. This site is mainly useful for studying the artwork. According to their introduction, this book was disassembled in the 19th century and the leaves were later rebound in two volumes out of order. This digital edition seeks to restore the original 15th century order to the book. The Hours of Catherine of Cleves are considered one of the finest examples of Dutch illumination.

St George page from the Hours of Anne of Cleves

Being a member of a church dedicated to St George, his pages always draw my attention.  The main picture is a pretty typical picture of St George slaying the dragon. Now the margins are a little more interesting.  As I haven’t managed to capture the zoom version of this page, I’ll have to ask you to go to this zoom image and look at the bottom of the page.       The primary scene in the lower margin is of the virgin with the unicorn placing its horn in her lap, not its head per say but its horn… Now maybe I’ve been just reading Got Medieval! for too long, but these flowers surrounding the virgin seem to imply something else, indeed a threat to her virginity. Dare I suggest that the illuminator was inspired by George’s lance? I’m not sure what theological message I’m supposed to be getting from this page.

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2 thoughts on “Hours of Catherine of Cleves

  1. Hi,
    Just wanted to correct this – Hours of Catherine of Cleves, not Anne, who is around 100 years later.
    Cheers
    Miesje

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