The Sobieski Hours
… exquisite detailed scenes… illuminated text that will not only visually delight but will gratify with their intricate compositions and “stories”… and an enigma as to who commissioned the work; and for whom intended.
Written in Latin, the 234 vellum folios were created after 1420. Sixty full page miniatures; and more than 400 illustrated scenes. Each exquisitely painted with a wealth of detail depicted in the landscapes, architecture, people and animals…. Every text page is adorned with ornate borders.
THE COMBINED WORK OF THREE MASTERS
Given the detail on every folio and the great number of miniatures in the Sobieski Hours, meant not only that the manuscript was created and worked on over an extended period of time; but that the leading artist, the Bedford Master could not have single-handedly painted them all. As principal artist he was supported by talented collaborators, two of whom have been identified – The Fastolf Master (active 1440-50 in Rouen), and the Master of the Munich Golden Legend (active 1440-50 in northern France).
The Bedford Master’s distinctiveness lies in his captivating treatment of narrative and in the way the miniatures are arranged into a harmonious and visually pleasing whole.
The Master’s naturalistic scenes are depicted in extraordinary detail and reveal that we have entered the Renaissance era… flowing robes, realistic postures, figures in motion, eloquent faces… Intricate compositions have foregrounds, middle grounds and backgrounds. Earlier illuminated manuscripts were never anything like this.