The Bedford Book of Hours
The Bedford Book of Hours
One of the richest Books of Hours ever to have left an illuminator’s workshop, The Bedford Book of Hours is famous all over the world.
Miniatures from the Bedford Hours, such as the Ark of Noah or the Creation, are among the most frequently cited examples of the Medieval art of illumination.
The Bedford Book of Hours is an unusually extensive painted manuscript; every single page is illustrated. There is splendid scrollwork, with hundreds of tiny golden vine or acanthus leaves, colourful flowers and small animals covering the pages. The miniatures are decorated with gold leaf, brush gold and sometimes silver. The Latin text is embellished with numerous gold initials and imaginative line-fillers, while French explanations of the miniatures appear in red, blue, and gold writing at the bottom of each page
The Bedford Hours were made at a time when France and England had been waging war for some decades; and it was the Duke of Bedford who, in alliance with Burgundy, successfully fought the cause of the English. The Duke of Bedford eventually conquered half of France and stopped the troops of Joan of Arc. He also married Anne of Burgundy, who was given The Bedford Book of Hours as a wedding gift by her brother. This marriage of convenience soon turned into a great love. After Anne’s untimely death, contemporaries admired the Book of Hours as a precious symbol of their loving marriage.
The ingenious Bedford Master painted most of The Bedford Hours miniatures himself. Although he was among the leading and most prolific painters of his day, his identity has surprisingly remained a mystery. The illuminator of The Book of Hours thus entered art history under the title of Bedford Master, a name synonymous with high quality painting and luxurious opulence.
Addison Publications is proud to offer The Bedford Book of Hours in a worldwide limited Fine Art Facsimile Edition of only 980 copies. In a faithful re-creation, the Fine Art Facsimile volume renders even the finest details of the shining gold leaf and the softly shimmering brush gold as well as the silver parts.
The Facsimile is bound in red velvet with two gilded clasps that are additionally decorated with fine engravings, reproducing the arms and mottoes of the great English bibliophile Baron Harley.
In addition the Facsimile Edition includes a commentary volume by Professor Eberhard König, art historian at the Freie Universität Berlin and long-standing expert in illuminated French Gothic manuscripts. Professor König will introduce you to the captivating period of the early 15th century, as well as to the art of the Bedford Master and his contemporaries.
“This facsimile of the incredible manuscript is also stunning.”
“The richest book of hours of the Middle Ages.”