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Walters Ms. W.764, Vienna book of hours

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Vienna book of hours

Text title
Book of hours


This book of hours was written in German in Vienna, Austria, ca. 1460-65. It is one of a series of manuscripts commissioned at the court of Emperor Frederick III of Austria (1415-1493), some of which were made for his son, Prince Maximilian (1459-1519). The name of the artist is unknown, but due to his connection with these commissions, he is known as the Master of the Maximilian Schoolbooks. Unfortunately, only three of the original sixteen full-page, richly painted miniatures remain in this manuscript, but ten of the missing folios have been identified. Nine cuttings are in the Musée Bonnat, Bayonne, France (inv. nr. 1244-1252), and one cutting is in the Cleveland Museum of Art (Dudley P. Allen Fund Accession 1959.40). Other related manuscripts include Vienna, Nationalbibliothek Codicies 2368, 2617, and 2289.


Ca. 1460 CE


Vienna, Austria


Supplied name: Master of the Maximilian Schoolbooks

Known as: Master of the Schoolbooks






The primary language in this manuscript is German, Middle High (ca.1050-1500). The secondary language of this manuscript is Latin.

Support material


Medium-weight, clean, cream-colored parchment, well finished


Foliation: ii+200+ii

Modern pencil foliation in upper right corners of rectos; flyleaves of modern parchment


Formula: ii, 1(12), 2(8), 3(10), 4(8), 5(10,-10), 6(10,-10), 7-8(8), 9(10,-1), 10-20(10), 21(10,-10), ii

Catchwords: None

Signatures: None

Comments: Misbound and incomplete; quires begin on fols. 1(1), 13(2), 21(3), 31(4), 39(5), 48(6), 57(7), 65(8), 73(9), 82(10), 92(11), 102(12), 112(13), 122(14), 132(15), 142(16), 152(17), 162(18), 172(19), 182(20), 192(21); all leaves tipped in for quires 2, 5, and 6; outer leaves tipped in for quire 7; inner four leaves tipped in for quire 8; fols. 31-41 should come before fol. 13


11.8 cm wide by 16.8 cm high

Written surface

7.2 cm wide by 11.0 cm high

  1. Columns: 1
  2. Ruled lines: 17-18
  3. Ruled in brown ink

fols. 1r - 200v:
  1. Title: Book of hours
  2. Hand note: Written in hybrid Gothic bookhand with some cursive aspects, in two sizes
  3. Decoration note: Thirteen full-page miniatures missing; three extant full-page miniatures; twenty-five large decorated initials (3-7 lines), some with flowering tendrils; KL in calendar in alternating red and blue (3 lines); smaller initials in red and blue throughout the text (1-2 lines); rubrics in red; text in black ink
fols. 1r - 12v:
  1. Title: Calendar
  2. Rubric: Jenner hat xxxi Tag a die besneidung Christi
  3. Text note: Calendar one-third to one-half full, graded in black and red
fols. 13v - 55v:
  1. Title: Hours of the Virgin
  2. Rubric: Tagczeit von unserer Lieben frawn Schidung. Von erst die Metten
  3. Incipit: Herre tue auf mein Lebsen
  4. Contents: Misbound; fols. 31r-38v: matins; fols. 38v-41r: lauds; fols. 14r-16v: prime; fols. 17r-19v: terce; fols. 20r-30v: sext; fols. 42r-44v: none; fols. 45r-51v: vespers; fols. 52r-55v: compline
  5. Decoration note: Full-page miniature on fol. 13v; large decorated initials marking incipits on fols. 14r, 17r, 20r, 31r, 42r, 45r, and 52r
fols. 56r - 79r:
  1. Title: Hours of the Cross
  2. Rubric: Hie hebt sich an die Tagczeit von unsers herren Marter. Von erst die Metten
  3. Incipit: Herre tu auf mein Lebsen
  4. Decoration note: Full-page miniatures on fols. 66v and 76v; large decorated initials marking incipits on fols. 56r, 64r, 67r, 69r, 71r, 73r, and 77r
fols. 80r - 107r:
  1. Title: Vigils of the Holy Spirit
  2. Rubric: Hie hebt sich an die Vigili von allen gelaubigen Selen
  3. Incipit: Diten wir umball
  4. Decoration note: Large decorated initial on fol. 80r
fols. 107v - 108r:
  1. Title: Prayer of the Three Kings
  2. Rubric: Das Oppfer der heiligen dreyer Kunig sprich dicz gepet
  3. Incipit: Emphach hewt werder hymelischer Vater
fols. 109r - 122r:
  1. Title: Seven Penitential Psalms and litany
  2. Rubric: Hie hebent sich an die Suben Puess Psalmen von erst antiffen
  3. Decoration note: Large decorated initial on fol. 109r
fols. 122r - 199r:
  1. Title: Prayers
  2. Rubric: Das gepet
  3. Incipit: Almochtiger parmiherziger
  4. Contents: Notable prayers: fols. 125v-127v: prayers to Mary, one's angel, and St. George; fols. 128r-129v: prayer to St. Catherine; fols. 129v-133r: prayer to the Passion of Christ and Good Friday; fols. 133r-135r: prayer to Mary; fols. 135r-136r: prayer for God's blessing; fols. 136r-140v: prayer composed by St. Augustine; fols. 140v-143v: St. Augustine prayer; fols. 143v-146r: prayer for St. Ambrosius(?); fols. 146r-158r: prayers; fols. 158r-161r: prayers to St. Anselm and Mary; fols. 161r-166v: prayers to St. Anselm and Mary; fols. 166v-171r: special prayer to Mary; fols. 172r-197r: prayer of penance and other prayers; fol. 198r-199r: prayer to John the Evangelist
  5. Decoration note: Large decorated initial with tendrils on fol. 166v; smaller decorated initials on fols. 128r, 129v, 133r, 136v, and 158r
fols. 200r - 200v:
  1. Title: Added prayer to St. Christopher
  2. Contents: Prayer added to a blank folio in the sixteenth century


fol. 13v:

  1. W.764, fol. 13v
  2. Title: Virgin and Child
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Hours of the Virgin: prime
  5. Label: This image would have originally been facing the incipit for matins, but the manuscript was misbound.

fol. 66v:

  1. W.764, fol. 66v
  2. Title: Christ Carrying the Cross
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Hours of the Cross: terce

fol. 76v:

  1. W.764, fol. 76v
  2. Title: Entombment
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Hours of the Cross: compline


The binding is not original.

Rebound by Abigail Quandt, Walters Art Museum, 1985, with white goatskin over wooden boards and two woven clasps with metal fittings; previous binding eighteenth-century green silk over heavy pasteboard (now housed separately)


Vienna, Austria, ca. 1460-65, with illuminations by the Master of the Maximilian Schoolbooks (probably commissioned by a member of the court of Emperor Frederick III of Austria [1415-1493] for his son Prince Maximilian [1459-1519] due to its similarity to other manuscripts made for him)

Bernard Quaritch, London, 1910 (no. 238)

C. G. Boerner, Leipzig, November 28, 1912 (Auction CX)

Jacques Rosenthal, Munich, 1928 (Catalog 90, no. 196) and 1929 (Catalog 91, no. 6)

Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore, purchased from H. P. Krauss, New York, 1959 (Catalog 88, no. 14)


Museum purchase, January 1959


Bibliotheca Medii Aevi Manuscripta. Pars Altera: Einhundert Handschriften des Mittelalters vom zehnten bis zum fünfzehnten Jahrhunderts 90. Munich: Jacques Rosenthal, 1928, pp. 116-17, no. 196, pl. 20.

Holter, Kurt. "Gotische Buchmalerei im südostdeutschen Raum." Zentralblatt für Bibliothekswesen 57 (1940): 23-35, no. 2.

Faye, C. U., and W. H. Bond. Supplement to the Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada. New York: Bibliographical Society of America, 1962, p. 200, no. 578.

Miner, Dorothy. "Since de Ricci--Western Illuminated Manuscripts Acquired since 1934: A Report in Two Parts: Part 1." Journal of the Walters Art Gallery 29-30 (1966): 68-103, figs. 19-21 (fols. 13v, 66v, 76v)

Bulletin Codicologique. Scriptorium 26 (1972): 130-246; no. 402.

Hamburger, Jeffrey. "Bosch's Conjuror: An Attack on Magic and Sacramental Heresy." Simiolus 14, no. 1 (1984): 4-23, no. 41.

Cermann, Regina. Katalog der dutschprachigen illustrierten Handschriften des Mittelalters 5. Munich: Veröffentlichung der Kommission für deutsche Literatur des Mittelalters der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2002, pp. 28-32.

Pfändtner, Karl-Georg. "The Long-Lost Cuttings of a Fifteenth-Century Austrian Prayerbook (W.764) in the Walters Art Museum." Journal of the Walters Art Museum 64 (2005): 103-8.


Principal cataloger: Walters Art Museum curatorial staff and researchers since 1934

Catalogers: Herbert, Lynley; Walters Art Museum curatorial staff and researchers since 1934

Editors: Herbert, Lynley; Noel, William

Copy editor: Bockrath, Diane

Conservators: Owen, Linda; Quandt, Abigail

Contributors: Bockrath, Diane; Dutschke, Consuelo; Emery, Doug; Hamburger, Jeffrey; Noel, William; Tabritha, Ariel; Toth, Michael B.


The Walters Art Museum


Licensed for use under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported Access Rights, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-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.