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[Book of Hours. Sarum Use, in Latin].
Illuminated manuscript on vellum.
[Flanders, c. 1420].

The Book of Hours, the most popular book of the Middle Ages, profoundly shaped Christian life by bringing a structured sanctity to each day of the year. Designed for private devotion to Christ, the Virgin Mary, and particular saints at appointed times of the day, its Latin prayers offered Christian lay people a uniquely personal source of spiritual fulfillment and hope for salvation. This manuscript, produced in Flanders for Sarum Use in England, reflects the influence of the “Boucicaut Master,” an anonymous illuminator who set high artistic standards for the period.

The book’s illustrations include the traditional images of the Infancy of Christ for the Hours of the Virgin Mary, scenes of a funeral and a burial to accompany the Mass for the Dead and the Commendation of the Soul, and a special devotional image of St. George, the patron saint of England. Displayed is the illumination of the Visitation for the hour of Lauds.