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Walters Ms. W.190, Book of Hours

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Shelf mark



Book of Hours

Text title
Book of Hours


Illuminated in the style of the Master of the Black Prayerbook, this manuscript was created ca. 1460-1470. It contains features in the calendar that indicate a destination of Bruges, and aspects of the litany point to the city of Liège. The manuscript is currently misbound, but an attempt has been made to reconstruct the original order of the quires. The full-page miniatures and historiated initials are painted with a mixture of grisaille and colored techniques. There may be a reference to the patron and their family taking communion on fol. 47v.


Ca. 1460-70 CE


Bruges (?)






The primary language in this manuscript is Latin.

Support material


Well-selected parchment of light to medium weight; margins were cleaned sometime in the modern era, occasionally causing damage (eg., fol. 48r, initial on line one has almost disappeared)


Foliation: i+139+i

Front and back flyleaves are modern parchment and are bifoliate with pastedowns


Formula: As it appears in the current binding: Quires 1-2: 6 (fols. 1-12); Quire 3: 6, with fifth folio cancelled (fols. 13-17); Quire 4: 6 (fols. 18-23); Quire 5: 8, with eighth folio cancelled (fols. 24-30); Quire 6: 4, with first folio cancelled (fols. 31-33); Quire 7: 2 (fols. 34-35); Quires 8-9: 8 (fols. 36-51); Quire 10: 8, with first and eighth folios cancelled (fols. 52-57); Quire 11: 8 (fols. 58-65); Quire 12: 8 (fols. 66-73); Quire 13: 8, with first folio cancelled (fols. 74-80); Quires 14-18: 8 (fols. 81-120); Quire 19: 10, with tenth folio cancelled (fols. 121-129); Quire 20: 6 (fols. 130-135); Quire 21: 4 (fols. 136-139)



11.8 cm wide by 17.5 cm high

Written surface

fols. 1r - 139v: 6.1 cm wide by 10.2 cm high

fols. 1r - 12v: 5.8 cm wide by 9.2 cm high

fols. 1r - 139v:
  1. Columns: 1
  2. Ruled lines: 20
  3. Some folios of the calendar have fewer written lines but seem to have been ruled with 20 lines before pages were washed
fols. 1r - 12v:
  1. Columns: 1
  2. Ruled lines: 12-18

fols. 1r - 139v:
  1. Title: Book of Hours
  2. Contents: Book is misbound, with reconstructed order as follows: fols. 1r-12v: Calendar; fols. 13r-16v: Gospel Sequence; fols. 17r-19v, 20r-22v, 23r-v, 44r-v, 45r-47r, 47v-50r, 50v-51v, 31r-32r, 32v-35r: Hours for Each Day of the Week; fols. 36r-43v, 24r-v: Seven Penitential Psalms; fols. 24v-30v: Litany; fols. 52r-120v: Devotional Sequence to the Virgin; fols. 121r-131r: Devotional Sequence; fols. 131v-139r: Suffrages; fol. 139r-v: Early Added Prayer on Five Joys of the Virgin
  3. Hand note: Written in littera batarda, pauses marked by punctus elevatus or punctus
  4. Decoration note: Nine full-page miniatures with floral borders accompanying them; seven historiated initials; gold, rose, and blue decorated initials for secondary text divisions (2 lines); flourished initials in alternating blue and gold for versals (1 line); rubrics in red; text in black or dark brown ink
fols. 1r - 12v:
  1. Title: Calendar
  2. Rubric: Januarius habet dies xxxi. Luna xxx.
  3. Contents: Calendar full, graded in red and brown ink; almost synonymous with Bruges calendar; variants are as follows: occasional feasts (e.g., Chrysolius), translation of Augustine, reversed dates of successive feast days (e.g., Ursmar and Peter deacon), identification of Louis as king of France
fols. 13r - 16v:
  1. Title: Gospel Sequences
  2. Rubric: Secundum Johannem Gloria. tibi. domine
  3. Incipit: In principio erat verbum
  4. Contents: John 1:1-14, Luke 1:26-38, Matthew 2:1-12, Mark 16:14-20
  5. Decoration note: Full-page miniature on fol. 13r
fols. 17v - 19v; 20r - 22v; 44r - 44v; 45r - 47r; 47v - 50r; 50v - 51v; 31r - 32r; 32v - 35v:
  1. Title: Hours for each day of the week
  2. Rubric: Hore de dominica de sancta trinitate
  3. Incipit: Domine labia mea
  4. Contents: Fols. 17r-19v: Sunday Hours of the Trinity, with Communion prayer for Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist; fols. 20r-22v: Monday Hours of the Dead; fol. 23r-v and 44r-v: Tuesday Hours of the Holy Spirit; fols. 45r-47r: Wednesday Hours of All Saints (misbound); fols. 47v-50r: Thursday Hours of the Sacrament; fols. 50v-51v and 31r-32r: Friday Hours of the Cross (misbound); fols. 32v-35r: Saturday Hours of the Virgin; prayer to Christ added on fol. 35r at the end of the text
  5. Decoration note: Seven full-page miniatures on fols. 17r, 20r, 23r, 45r, 47v, 50v, and 32v
fols. 36r - 43v; 24r - 30v:
  1. Title: Seven Penitential Psalms and Litany
  2. Rubric: Incipiunt septem psalmi penitentiales
  3. Incipit: Domine ne in furore tuo
  4. Contents: Fols. 36r-43v and 24r-v: Seven Penitential Psalms; fols. 24v-30v: litany; South Netherlandish destination indicated; sixteen apostles and evangelists, from Peter to Thaddeus; thirteen martyrs (eleven single, one pair) including Adrian, Cornelius, George, Victor, Cosmas and Damian, Christopher, Sebastian, Ghislain, Blasius; twelve confessors including Brictus, Augustine, Jerome, Ambrose, Gregory I, Gilbert, Francis, Jodocus, Julian; eleven virgins/widows/"continentes" including Mary Magdalene, Mary Egyptian, Catherine, Agnes, Anne, Apollonia, Gertrude, Elizabeth; fols. 26v-28r: petitions, invocations, cues; fols. 28r-30r: brief prayers, written consecutively, causes and individuals cited include Church, peace, pastor, king, brethren and sisters, faithful traveling on land and sea, persecutors, slanderers, benefactors, the sick, and the faithful dead
  5. Text note: Due to book having been misbound, rubric and incipit are found on fol. 36r.
  6. Decoration note: Full-page miniature on fol. 36r
fols. 52r - 120v:
  1. Title: Devotional Sequence for the Virgin
  2. Incipit: ...Saluto te beatissime dei genitrix
  3. Contents: Text begins imperfectly; psalter, prayers, and petitions dedicated to the Virgin; fols. 52v-112v: Psalter of the Virgin, 8-partite, recitation at nocturn on ferial days specified in headings; fols. 114r-119r: Litany of the Virgin; fol.s 117v-119r: Petitions; fols. 119r-120v: Prayer to the Virgin
  4. Decoration note: Eight historiated initials on fols. 52v, 62v, 67v, 73v, 79v, 84v, 91r, and 96v
fols. 121r - 139r:
  1. Title: Devotional Sequence
  2. Rubric: Canticum sancti athanasii
  3. Incipit: Quicunque vult saluus esse
  4. Contents: Fols. 121r-125v: Athanasian Creed; Prayers to three members of the Trinity, Prayer to Christ; fols. 125v-127r: Five joys of the Virgin, rhyming; Prayer to Christ; fols. 127r-128r: Pre-Communion prayer; fols. 129r-131v: Communion prayers
  5. Decoration note: Decorated initials
fols. 131v - 139r:
  1. Title: Suffrages
  2. Rubric: Memoria de sancta cruce
  3. Incipit: Salve tremendum caput
  4. Contents: Fols. 131v-139: Suffrages, to the Cross, eight male and seven female saints; fols. 131v-132v: Cross, referring to Crown of Thorns, Flagellation, wounds, ending imperfectly; fol. 133r: John the Evangelist, end of text only; fol. 133r: Christopher, rhyming; fol. 133v: Adrian; fol. 134r: Sebastian; fol. 134v: George; fol. 135r: Nicholas; fol. 135v: Anthony; fol. 136r: Julian; fol. 136v: Catherine; fol. 137r: Barbara; fol. 137v: Margaret; fol. 138r: Apollonia; fol. 138v: Agnes; fol. 138v: Elizabeth
  5. Decoration note: Decorated initials
fols. 139r - 139v:
  1. Title: Prayer on Five Joys of the Virgin
  2. Incipit: Ave cuius conceptio solempni
  3. Contents: Added early, prayer on Five Joys of the Virgin consisting of five invocations; fol. 139v: Prayer to God on the Five Joys of the Virgin, Prayer to the Virgin ending imperfectly in same hand as additions on fols. 19v, 35r
  4. Hand note: Written in a different hand at a later, yet still early, date


fol. 13r:

  1. W.190, fol. 13r
  2. Title: Four Evangelists and their symbols
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Gospel Sequence

fol. 17r:

  1. W.190, fol. 17r
  2. Title: Trinity
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Sunday, Trinity

fol. 20r:

  1. W.190, fol. 20r
  2. Title: Burial Service
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Monday, Hours of the Dead

fol. 23r:

  1. W.190, fol. 23r
  2. Title: Pentecost
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Tuesday, Hours of the Holy Spirit

fol. 32v:

  1. W.190, fol. 32v
  2. Title: Annunciation
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Saturday, Hours of the Virgin

fol. 36r:

  1. W.190, fol. 36r
  2. Title: King David
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Penitential Psalms

fol. 45r:

  1. W.190, fol. 45r
  2. Title: Christ revered by saints
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Wednesday, Hours of All Saints

fol. 47v:

  1. W.190, fol. 47v
  2. Title: Holy Communion
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Thursday, Hours of the Sacrament
  5. Comment:

    Possibly a portrait of the patrons and their family

fol. 50v:

  1. W.190, fol. 50v
  2. Title: Crucifixion
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Friday, Hours of the Cross

fol. 52v:

  1. W.190, fol. 52v
  2. Title: Initial "B" with Moses and the Burning Bush
  3. Form: Historiated initial "B," 6 lines
  4. Text: Psalm 1

fol. 62v:

  1. W.190, fol. 62v
  2. Title: Initial "D" with the Visitation
  3. Form: Historiated initial "D," 7 lines
  4. Text: Psalm 26

fol. 67v:

  1. W.190, fol. 67v
  2. Title: Initial "D" with the Nativity-Adoration
  3. Form: Historiated initial "D," 7 lines
  4. Text: Psalm 38

fol. 73v:

  1. W.190, fol. 73v
  2. Title: Initial "D" with the Annunciation to the Shepherds
  3. Form: Historiated initial "D," 8 lines
  4. Text: Psalm 52

fol. 79v:

  1. W.190, fol. 79v
  2. Title: Initial "S" with the Massacre of the Innocents
  3. Form: Historiated initial "S," 7 lines
  4. Text: Psalm 68

fol. 84v:

  1. W.190, fol. 84v
  2. Title: Initial "E" with the Presentation in the Temple
  3. Form: Historiated initial "E," 7 lines
  4. Text: Psalm 80

fol. 91r:

  1. W.190, fol. 91r
  2. Title: Initial "C" with the Adoration of the Magi
  3. Form: Historiated initial "C," 7 lines
  4. Text: Psalm 97

fol. 96v:

  1. W.190, fol. 96v
  2. Title: Initial "D" with the Flight into Egypt
  3. Form: Historiated initial "D," 7 lines
  4. Text: Psalm 109


The binding is not original.

Bound in France ca. 1900 in dark green velvet, and leather fore-edge tabs added at that time


Created ca. 1460-70, calendar indicates Bruges as destination, and litany has features common to Liège; fol. 47v may have portrait of patron and family

Effaced monogram on top-right of fol. 1r visible under UV light; lower margin of same page has inscription in brown ink "Ioannes Reitmakers/anno 1663"

Léon Gruel, Paris, late nineteenth-early twentieth century; possibly rebound by him; bookplate on upper board inside

Henry Walters, Baltimore, likely purchased from Gruel between 1900 and 1931


Walters Art Museum, 1931, by Henry Walters' bequest


De Ricci, Seymour, and W. J. Wilson. Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada. Vol. 1. New York: H. W. Wilson Company, 1935; p. 794, cat. no. 234.

Miner, Dorothy. Illuminated Books of the Middle Ages and Renaissance: An Exhibition Held at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Baltimore: Trustees of the Walters Art Museum and the Baltimore Museum of Art, 1949; cat. no. 132.

Delaissé, Leon M. J. Miniature flamande: La mécénat de Philippe le Bon. Exhibition Catalogue. Brussels: Palais de Beaux-Arts, 1959.

Diringer, David. The Illuminated Book: Its History and Production. Revised Edition. New York: Faber and Faber, 1967; pp. 449-450.

Bowles, Edmund A. "A Checklist of Musical Instruments in Fifteenth Century Illuminated Manuscripts at the Walters Art Gallery." Music Library Association 32 (1976): 719-726; p. 723.

Jenni, Ulrike, and Dagmar Thoss. Das Schwarze Gebetbuch (Gebetbuch des Galeazzo Maria Sforza): Codex 1856 der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek in Wien. Kommentar zur Faksimileausgabe. Frankfurt: Insel Verlag, 1982; pp. 65, 70, 101-102.

Mavarelli, Cristina G., with Maria Jole Minicucci and Maria Grazia Ciardi Duprè dal Poggetto. I Libre d'Ore della Biblioteca Riccardiana. Vol 1: I Libri d'Ore francesi e fiamminghi. Rome: Istituto poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato, 1986; p. 329.

Dogaer, Georges. Flemish Miniature Painting in the 15th and 16th Century. Amsterdam: B.M. Israël, 1987; pp. 103, 121, 136.

Owens, Margaret B. "Musical Subjects in the Illumination of Books of Hours from Fifteenth-Century France and Flanders." Ph.D. diss., University of Chicago, 1987; p. 398.

Pächt, Otto and Dagmar Thoss. Die illuminierten Handschriften und Inkunabeln der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek, Französische Schule, II. Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Phil.-Hist. Klasse, Denkschriften 160. 2 vols. Vienna: Verlag de Österreichische, 1990; vol. 1, pp. 25, 34, figs. 5, 9, 10.

Crossley-Holland, Nicole. A Fifteenth-Century Franciscan French Office: Translation and Commentary of the Hours of the Passion. Medieval Studies 4. Lewiston/Queenston: E. Mellen Press, 1991; pp. 143, 144.

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. 312-317, cat. no. 263.

Kren, Thomas. "Master of the Dresden Prayerbook and Ghent Associates." In Illuminating the Renaissance: The Triumph of Flemish Manuscript Painting in Europe. Edited by Thomas Kren and Scott McKendrick, 180-181. Los Angeles: The J. Paul Getty Trust, 2003; p. 181 (ref. under cat. no. 36).

Morrison, Elizabeth. "Master of the David Scenes in the Grimani Breviary and Another Illuminator." In Illuminating the Renaissance: The Triumph of Flemish Manuscript Painting in Europe. Edited by Thomas Kren and Scott McKendrick, 390-391. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum Publishers, 2003; p. 391 (ref. under cat. no. 116).

Vanwijnsberghe, Dominique. "Le cycle d'enfance des petites de la vierge dans les livres d'heures des pays-bas méridionaux." In Manuscripten en miniaturen: Studies aangeboden aan Anne S. Korteweg bij haar afscheid van de Koninklijke Bibliotheek (Bijdragen tot de Geschiedenis van de Nederlandse Boekhandel. Nieuwe Reeks (8). Edited by Jos Biemans, Klaas van der Hoek, Kathryn M. Rudy, and Ed van der Vlist, 355-366. Zutphen: Walburg Pers, 2007; p. 365.

Hans-Collas, Illona, and Hanno Wijsman. Le Livre d’heures et de prières d’Agnès de Bourgogne, duchesse de Bourbon. Art de l'enluminure 29 (2009): 20-47; p. 44.


Principal cataloger: Randall, Lilian M.C.

Cataloger: Shartrand, Emily

Editor: Herbert, Lynley

Copy editor: Wallace, Susan

Conservators: Owen, Linda; Quandt, Abigail

Contributors: Emery, Doug; Noel, William; Schuele, Allyson; Tabritha, Ariel; Toth, Michael B.; Valle, Chiara; 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.