Horae de Sant Matthia (MS20)


This Book of Hours was written at the start of the 14th century for King Wenceslaus of Bohemia, and is thought to have been for his queen. It was written and decorated at Prague, and contains fine decoration and illuminated capitals. For a full description, see J.J.G. Alexander, 'A Book of Hours made for King Wenceslaus IV of Bohemia', in Studies in late medieval and renaissance Painting in honor of Millard Meiss, ed. I. Lavin and Joh Plummer, 1978.

Illuminated figures can be found throughout, including particularly Bohemian figures such as St Matthias (f.13, 37), St Wenceslaus (f.39), Adalbert of Prague (f.40v) and St Ludmilla (f.44). Other images include Jacob (f.35) and Christ (49, 57) . There are delicate floral decoations on several other pages, and the work is unfinished. The name 'Franciscus muijlwijch' at the head of f.1 suggests the book was in the Low Countries at the start of the 16th century. The binding also dates from the 16th century, and shows a saint flanked by griffins.