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Walters Ms. W.169, Hours of Pastor Denys

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Hours of Pastor Denys

Text title
Book of Hours


This early fifteenth-century Book of Hours was created for a woman's use in Bruges or Ghent. Although her name is unknown (as are those subsequent earlier owners), its first folio bears the later ownership inscription of Pastor Denys, ca. 1700. The early addition of texts and prints, as well as the later removal of some prints and miniatures, reveals that it was well used and modified for different tastes over many centuries. The eleven extant full-page miniatures and single historiated initial still retain their rich, vibrant colors, and their contrast with the remaining uncolored print shows the variety of visual elements that could be enjoyed together in a medieval book.


Early 15th century CE








The primary language in this manuscript is Latin. The secondary language of this manuscript is Dutch; Flemish.

Support material


Clean, cream-colored medium-weight parchment, well finished; flyleaves are modern parchment


Foliation: i+197+i

First nine folios, and also last, are ruled and foliated but blank; two sets of foliation: inaccurate pencil foliation lower right corners rectos, and correct pencil foliation upper right corners rectos (used here)


Formula: Quire 1: 6 (fols. 1-6); Quires 2-4: 8 (fols. 7-30); Quire 5: 8, with originally seven full-page miniatures added: fols. 32, 34, 36, 39, and 42 are inserted leaves, and two others that were originally inserted are missing after fols. 30 and 37 (fols. 31-43); Quire 6: 8 (fols. 44-51); Quire 7: 8, with first folio inserted (fols. 52-60); Quires 8-15: 8 (fols. 61-116); Quire 16: 8, with the fifth and seventh folios inserted (fols. 117-124); Quire 17: 8, with the second, fifth, and seventh folios inserted (fols. 125-134); Quires 18-23: 8 (fols. 135-193); Quire 24: 4 (fols. 194-197)

Catchwords: None

Signatures: None

Comments: Full-page miniatures inserted


11.5 cm wide by 16.0 cm high

Written surface

6.3 cm wide by 9.0 cm high

  1. Columns: 1
  2. Ruled lines: 16

fols. 1r - 197v:
  1. Title: Book of Hours
  2. Contents: Text of Hours is in Latin, prayers are in Flemish; text begins fol. 10v
  3. Hand note: Gothic bookhand; several hands evident: fols. 10v-22r and 31r-153v appear to be early fifteenth-century hands and represent the first phase of the book's production; fols. 23r-26v and 154r-196r appear to be from the second half of the fifteenth century and are early additions to the manuscript
  4. Decoration note: Three full-page miniatures missing after fols. 29, 37, and 130; two woodcut prints have been inserted and subsequently removed (fols. 135r and 196r); eleven extant full-page miniatures, facing opening text with decorative initial and matching foliate border; one historiated initial (6 lines); one remaining added woodcut, pasted into blank part of page (14 lines); foliate initials in gold, red or pink, and blue throughout (2 to 9 lines); alternating gold and blue initials with penwork grounds throughout first 2/3; last third has simple red initials (1 to 4 lines); rubrics in red; text in black ink
fols. 10v - 22r:
  1. Title: Calendar
  2. Rubric: Januarius habet dies .xxxi. luna .xxx.
  3. Contents: Calendar less than half-full; graded in red and black; Egyptian days noted; notable saints include Aldegund (Jan. 30), Amandus (Feb. 6, and Oct. 26), Ursmar (Apr. 18), George (Apr. 28), Germanus (Apr. 30, and July 31), Gertrude (May 7, although usually Mar. 17), Helen (May 21), Paulinus (May 7, and Aug. 31), Albanus (June 22), Eligius (translated June 25), Landrada (July 8, relics are in Ghent), Amalberga (July 10, buried in Ghent), Anne (July 27), Donatus (Aug. 7), Prisca (Sept. 2, usually Jan. 18), Remacle (Sept. 4), John of Nicomedia (Sept. 7), Bavo and Remigius (Oct. 1, Ghent saints), Gerulf (Oct. 8, usually Sept. 25, rare and important Ghent saint), Gangulf (Oct. 12, usually May 11), Rumold (Oct. 27), Livin (Nov. 12, a Ghent saint), Saturninus (Nov. 30, usually Nov. 29), Barbara (Dec. 4), Dalmatus (Dec. 5), Ananias, Azarias, and Misael (Dec. 16, three Hebrews in the Furnace), Avitus abbot (Dec. 19, usually Dec. 18), Cyrion (Dec. 22), Gregory I (Dec. 24), Thomas Becket (Dec. 29), and Sabinus (Dec. 30)
  4. Decoration note: "KL" in gold with pink and blue grounds (2 lines) on versos
fols. 23r - 23r:
  1. Title: Prayer to the Virgin
  2. Incipit: Alma redemptoris mater
  3. Contents: Added second half of fifteenth century
fols. 23r - 26v:
  1. Title: Prayers to God the Father
  2. Incipit: Soete god die almachtich sijt
  3. Contents: Added second half of fifteenth century
fols. 31r - 42v:
  1. Title: Hours of the Cross
  2. Rubric: Hier beghinnen de vii ghetiden
  3. Incipit: O soete ihesus die bi nachte gheboren waert
  4. Contents: Fol. 33r: (te priemetijde), O soete ihesus die bi; fol. 35r: (te tiertchen hueren), O soete ihesus die tiertche; fol. 37r: (te middaghe), O soete ihesus die te middaghe; fol. 38r: (te noenen tijde), O soete ihesus te noenen; fol. 40r: (te vespertijde), O soete ihesus die vespertijde; fol. 42r: (te complitide tide), O soete ihesus die te complitide
  5. Decoration note: Five full-page miniatures, fols. 32v, 34v, 36v, 39v, and 41v
fols. 42v - 44r:
  1. Title: Salutations to the Virgin
  2. Incipit: Ic groute u maria
  3. Contents: Fourteen salutations to the Virgin Mary, each followed by an Ave Maria; ends with a final prayer: fol. 43r, Soete urouwe coninginne emertics
fols. 44r - 46v:
  1. Title: Five Joys of Mary
  2. Incipit: Doe onse vrouwe uersceeden
fols. 46v - 49r:
  1. Title: Prayers of St. Calixtus Pope
  2. Rubric: Dit nauolghende zijn de drie pater noster ende aue marien die sente calixtus de paeus leerde eenen sinen sonderlinghen urient daer hi met halp wachten die beesten tsente maxentius te sissoen ende hi gaffer toe gracie ende aflaet hem allen diet lesen sullen ende uoert leeren also hier na staet gescreuen Pater noster Ave maria
  3. Incipit: Ghi sult spreken een pater noster ende ave maria
  4. Contents: Rubric is written in black, but underlined in red. The text also refers to St. Maxentius and promise of indulgences for reading
  5. Decoration note: Woodcut print pasted at end of text, fol. 49r
fols. 52v - 90r:
  1. Title: Hours of the Virgin
  2. Incipit: Domine labia mea aperies
  3. Contents: Hours combine use of Bruges and Arras elements
  4. Decoration note: Full-page miniature fol. 52v
fols. 90r - 104r:
  1. Title: Seven Penitential Psalms and Litany
  2. Rubric: Sequitur septem psalmi penitentiales
  3. Incipit: Domine ne in furore
  4. Contents: Notable saints in litany, fols. 99v-102r, include: John the Baptist as patriarch and prophet; sixteen apostles, Peter through Barnabas; fourteen martyrs, including Stephen, Linus, Cletus, Clement, Sixtus, Cornelius, Cyprian, Lawrence, Vincent, John, Paul, Cosmas, Damian, and Lambert; fifteen confessors include Autbert, Anthony, Benedict, Bernard, Germanus, Rumold, Eligius, and Aegyndius; ten virgins or widows, including Mary Magdalene, Felicitas, Perpetua, Agatha, Agnes, Cecilia, Gudula, Margaret, Catherine, Anne; fols. 102r-103v: petitions and invocations; fols. 103v-104r: two collects
  5. Decoration note: Historiated initial fol. 90v
fols. 104r - 116r:
  1. Title: Devotional Sequence on the Virgin
  2. Incipit: Et introibo ad altare dei
  3. Text note: Consecration prayers have been omitted
fols. 116r - 117v:
  1. Title: Eight Verses of Saint Bernard
  2. Rubric: Legitur in vita sancti bernardi quod diabolus dixit se sare viii usus psalterij quos qui cotidie dixerit numquam danpnaretur. Et cum beatus bernardus dictos iussa vellet sare respondit diabolum qui noster dicet. Tuc dixit beatus bernardus. Ego sao quodmodum dominus uster sancta nata cotidie dicam totum psalterium quod audiens dias ne tum bonum facet revelavit tibi et dixit.
  3. Incipit: Illumina oculos meos
fols. 117v - 119r:
  1. Title: Prayers to the Virgin
  2. Rubric: Oratio beate marie
  3. Incipit: O Domina angelorum mater
fols. 119r - 122r:
  1. Title: Prayer on the Seven Last Word of Christ
  2. Rubric: Septem verba christi
  3. Incipit: Domine ihesu christe
fols. 122r - 123r:
  1. Title: Gospel Sequence of John
  2. Rubric: Inicium sancti evangelii
  3. Incipit: In principio erat verbum
fols. 123r - 125r:
  1. Title: Prayers to the Cross, to God the Father, and Christ
  2. Rubric: Dese bedinghe maecte sente augustijn. in wat daghe datmen se seghet te duuel en mach hem niet deeren. ende negheen mensche en mach hem letten. ende so wat hi gode rechtelike bidt hi salt hem gheuen. ende als sine ziele scheed van sinen lechame zoe es quite uan der hellen.
  3. Incipit: O crux gloriosa
fols. 125r - 127r:
  1. Title: Prayer on Sorrow of Virgin by the Cross
  2. Rubric: Quicunque sequentem orationem deuote dixerit septem annos indulgentie et quatuor carenas misericorditer consequetur. Hoc confirmatum est a papa bonefacio.
  3. Incipit: Stabat mater dolorosa
fols. 127r - 128r:
  1. Title: Seven Joys of the Virgin
  2. Rubric: Salutatio ad beatam virginem mariam
  3. Incipit: Gaude virgo mater christi
fols. 128r - 129v:
  1. Title: Apostles' Salutations to the Virgin
  2. Incipit: Salve mater salvatoris
fols. 130v - 153v:
  1. Title: Suffrages
  2. Contents: Fols. 130r-131v, SS. John Baptist and Peter: (De sancto iohanne baptista antiphona), Puer qui natus est; (De sancto petro apostolo antiphona), Tu est pastor; fols. 132v-135r, SS. Christopher and Anthony: (De sancto christoforo antiphona), Sancte christofore martyr dei; fols. 136v-138r: Cornelius and Livin (De sancto cornelio antiphona), Sancte et inclite corneli; (De sancto livino antiphona), Letentur filii ecclesiae; fols. 139v-140v: St. Daniel (De sancto daniele propheta antiphona), O tu sancte daniel; Fol. 141r-146r: SS. Catherine, Elizabeth of Hungary, Barbara (De sancta katherina antiphona), Gaude virgo katherina; (De sancta elizabeth antiphona), O beata sponsa christi; (De sancta barbara antiphona), Gaude barbara regina; fol. 145r: St. Macarius (De sancto macherio antiphona), Sanctissime archipresul machari; fol. 146r: St. Sebastian (De sancto sebastiano qui epidymiam), O quam mira refulsit gracia; fol. 147r: St. Adrian (De sancto adriano antiphona), Auve sancte adriane; fol. 147v: St. Ghislain (De sancto gilleno antiphona), Iustum deduxit dominus; fol. 148r: St. George (Quicunque contritus et confessus profisciens ad bellum iustum in parte sua et antiphonam et versiculum sequenti collecta in principio belli devote dixerit in illo pro certo non peribit. De sancto georgio antiphona), Georgi martyr inclite; fol. 149r: St. Lawrence (De sancto laurentio antiphona), Beato laurentius dum in graticula; fol. 149v: St. Michael (De sancto michele antiphona), Angeli archangeli throni; fol. 150r: St. Eligius (De sancto eligio antiphona), Alme confessor domini; fol. 150v: St. Margaret (De sancta margareta antiphona), Uenerantes et dignam memoriam; fol. 151r: St. Apollonia (De sancta appollonia antiphona), Deus qui in beatam appolloniam; fol. 151v: St. Aldegund (De sancta aldegunde virgine antiphona), Ueni sponsa christi; fol. 151v: St. Agatha (De sancta agatha antiphona), Stans beata agatha; fol. 152v: St. Mary Magdalene (Salutaciones beate marie magdalene), Gaude pia magdalena
fols. 154r - 163r:
  1. Title: Hours of the Holy Spirit
  2. Rubric: Tghetide uanden heleghen gheest.
  3. Incipit: Domine labia mea
  4. Text note: Added second half of fifteenth century
fols. 163v - 167r:
  1. Title: Hours of the Cross
  2. Rubric: Tghetide uanden cruce
  3. Incipit: Domine labia mea
  4. Text note: Added second half of fifteenth century
fols. 167r - 184r:
  1. Title: Psalms and Athanasian Creed
  2. Incipit: So wie dat dese .vi. salme ouerleest metten
  3. Contents: Fol. 167v: Psalm 21; fol. 170v: Psalm 30; fol. 173v: Psalm 85; fol. 175r: Psalm 106; fol. 177v: Psalm 138; fol. 180r: Athanasian Creed
  4. Text note: Added second half of fifteenth century; each text introduced by instruction, the first cites forty-day respite from torments of hell, each defines commemorative purpose (Christ on Cross, His sacrifice, His commitment of soul to God-Father, salvation through Christ, triumph over Devil, Trinity)
fols. 184r - 190v:
  1. Title: Communion Prayers
  2. Contents: Fol. 184r: Houerste priester ende; fol. 190r: Heere ihesu xriste leuende
  3. Text note: Added second half of fifteenth century
fols. 190v - 196r:
  1. Title: Three Prayers Referring to Teaching of Holy Man
  2. Contents: Fol. 190v: Een helich man leert; fol. 192v: Omnipotens .o. almachtich sich; fol. 194r: O goedertiere god ic loue; fol. 195r: O almachtich ende goedertierste god
  3. Text note: Added second half of fifteenth century


fol. 32v:

  1. W.169, fol. 32v
  2. Title: Christ presented to Pilate
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Hours of the Cross: Prime

fol. 34v:

  1. W.169, fol. 34v
  2. Title: Flagellation of Christ
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Hours of the Cross: Terce

fol. 36v:

  1. W.169, fol. 36v
  2. Title: Christ carrying the Cross
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Hours of the Cross: Sext

fol. 39v:

  1. W.169, fol. 39v
  2. Title: Lamentation
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Hours of the Cross: Vespers

fol. 41v:

  1. W.169, fol. 41v
  2. Title: Entombment
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Hours of the Cross: Compline

fol. 52v:

  1. W.169, fol. 52v
  2. Title: Apocalyptic Madonna Lactans
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Hours of the Virgin: Matins

fol. 90v:

  1. W.169, fol. 90v
  2. Title: Initial "D" with the Last Judgment
  3. Form: Historiated initial "D," 6 lines
  4. Text: Seven Penitential Psalms

fol. 130v:

  1. W.169, fol. 130v
  2. Title: SS. John the Baptist and Peter
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Suffrages

fol. 132v:

  1. W.169, fol. 132v
  2. Title: SS. Christopher and Anthony
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Suffrages

fol. 136v:

  1. W.169, fol. 136v
  2. Title: SS. Cornelius and Livin
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Suffrages

fol. 139v:

  1. W.169, fol. 139v
  2. Title: Daniel in the lion's den, with an angel bringing Habakkuk carrying food
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Suffrage

fol. 141v:

  1. W.169, fol. 141v
  2. Title: SS. Catherine, Elizabeth of Hungary, and Barbara
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Suffrages


The binding is not original.

Late nineteenth- or early twentieth-century binding by Léon Gruel, Paris; purple velvet over cardboard with gilt edges


Made in Flanders in the early fifteenth century for a woman's use in Bruges or Ghent

Pastor Denys, ca. 1700 (faint ink inscription fol. 1r)

Léon Gruel and Edmund Engelmann, Paris, late nineteenth to early twentieth century; their bookplate on inside upper board, no. 98

Henry Walters, Baltimore, acquired from Gruel and Engelmann before 1931


Walters Art Museum, 1931, by Henry Walters' bequest


Exhibition Catalogue: The Pierpont Morgan Library, 1934; ref. under cat. no. 102.

Byvanck, Alexander W. "Kroniek der Noord-Nederlandsche miniaturen, II." Bulletin van de Koninklijke Nederlandsche Oudheidkundige 4 (1935): 10-20; p. 16, Pl. VIII.

De Ricci, Seymour. Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada. Vol. 1. New York: H. W. Wilson Company, 1935, p. 788, cat. no. 194.

Panofsky, Erwin. Early Netherlandish Painting. Cambridge, Mass.: Harper and Row, 1953; pp. 118, 121, 122.

Delaissé, Leon M.J. "An Exhibition of Netherlandish Book Illumination, April 22 through May 12" [Oberlin Memorial College]. Allen Memorial Art Museum Bulletin 17 (1960): 94-113; cat. no. 30.

Cardon, Bert, Mauritius Smeyers, and Robrecht Lievens. Typologische Taferelen uit het leven van Jezus: A Manuscript from the Gold Scrolls Group (Bruges, ca. 1440) in the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York, Ms. Morgan 649. Leuven: Peeters, 1985; p. 162.

Dogaer, Georges. Flemish Miniature Painting in the 15th and 16th Centuries. Amsterdam:B.M. Israël, 1987; p. 31.

Owens, Michelle B. "Musical Subjects in the Illumination of Books of Hours from Fifteenth-Century France and Flanders." Ph.D. diss, University of Chicago, 1987; p. 388.

Smeyers, Katharina, and Susie Vertongen. "Manuscrits pré-Eyckiens: Production en masse et pratiques d'altier II." In Le dessin sous-jacent dans la peinture. Edited by R. van Schoute and H. Verougstraete-Marcq, pp. 75-89. Université Catholique de Louvain, Institut Supérieur d'Archelogie et d'Histoire de l'Art, Colloque IX (12-14 Sept. 1991), Document de Travail 27; pp. 75, 76, 78, 80, 82, 87, 88, Pl. 32a.

Smeyers, Maurits, and Bert Cardon. "Utrecht and Bruges--South and North 'Boundless Relations' in the 15th Century." In Masters and Miniatures. Proceedings of the Congress on Medieval Manuscript Illumination in the Northern Netherlands (Utrecht, 10-13 December 1989). Edited by K. van der Horst and Jean-Claude Klamt, pp. 89-108. Studies and Facsimiles of Netherlandish Illuminated Manuscripts 3. Doornspijk: Davaco, 1991; p. 96.

Smeyers, Maurits, Bert Cardon, et al. Vlaamse miniaturen voor van Eyck. Corpus van verluchte handschriften 6, Low Countries Series 4. Leuven: Uitgeverij Allmedia, 1993; pp. 17, 29, 31-34; cat. no. 11, 133, 159, fig. 12.

Randall, Lilian M. C. Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Walters Art Gallery. Vol. 3, Belgium, 1250-1530. Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press in association with the Walters Art Gallery, 1997; pp. 104-112, cat. no. 229.

Stroo, Cyriel. "The Antwerp Infancy Cycle: A Disregarded Masterpiece." In "Als Ich Can": Liber Amicorum in Memory of Professor Dr. Maurits Smeyers, edited by Bert Cardon, Jan Van der Stock, and Dominique Vanwijnsberghe, 1273-1294, vol. 2. Leuven: Peeters Press, 2002; p. 1284 (n. 30).

Mund, Hélène. "Anonymous Master- The Tower Retable with Scenes from the Life of Christ." The The Mayer van den Bergh Museum, Antwerp. Edited by Helene Mund, Cyriel Stroo, and Nicole Goetghebeur, 202-287. Brussels: Centre d'étude de la peinture du quinzième siècle dans les Pays-Bas méridionaux et la Principauté de Liège, 2003; p. 252.

Smeyers, Katharina. "Iconographic Cycles in Légendes Dorées." In Manuscripts in transition: Recycling Manuscripts, Texts, and Images. Proceedings of the International Congres held in Brussels (5-9 November 2002). Edited by Brigitte Dekeyzer and Jan van der Stock, 285-290. Leuven: Uitgeverij Peeters, 2005; pp. 288, 290 (n. 23).

Bräm, Andreas. "'Fratrum minorum mater': Heiligenbilder als Angleichung und zum Patronat in Frankreich und Flandern und in der Anjou-Hofkunst Neapels." In Elisabeth von Thüringen: Eine europäische Heilige, vol. 2. Edited by Uwe John and Dieter Blume, 309-324. Hesse: Michael Imhof Verlag, 2007; p. 324 (n. 85 for p. 322).

Dneffe, Dominique, Famke Peters, and Wim Fremout. Pre-Eyckian Panel Painting in the Low Countries, Vol. 1. Brussels: Brepols, 2009; pp. 119 (n. 102 for p. 100), 190 (n. 90 for p. 177), 192 (n. 122 for p. 182), 307 (n. 50 for p. 298).


Principal cataloger: Randall, Lilian M.C.

Catalogers: Herbert, Lynley; Valle, Chiara

Editor: Herbert, Lynley

Copy editor: Dibble, Charles

Conservators: Owen, Linda; Quandt, Abigail

Contributors: Boot, Christine; Emery, Doug; Noel, William; Schuele, Allyson; Tabritha, Ariel; Toth, Michael B.; Wiegand, Kimber


The Walters Art Museum


Licensed for use under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported Access Rights, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/legalcode. It is requested that copies of any published articles based on the information in this data set be sent to the curator of manuscripts, The Walters Art Museum, 600 North Charles Street, Baltimore MD 21201.