The personal prayer book of Jeanne d’Evreux, Queen consort of France and Navarre, did not just provide spiritual support to the King’s wife: it is also a masterpiece of Gothic illumination. Let’s take a peek at some of its features in this video by Facsimile Finder.
The Hours of Jeanne d’Evreux is considered to be one of the smallest books of hours in the world, measuring only 9 x 6 cm. Its delicate grisaille drawings of street dancers, apes, and mysterious creatures are brought to life by the imagination of Jean Pucelle, a master of medieval drolleries.
Pucelle’s works, influenced by Italian painters Giotto and Duccio, are among the most innovative of the 14th century, especially since they represent one of the first examples of three-dimensional painting in France.
The 25 full-page illustrations, focusing on the infancy and passion of Christ, are portrayed in subtle shades of grey that blend with hints of lilac, turquoise, and orange.
Nearly 700 drolleries animate the folios with their lively expressions: shepherds, acrobats, knights, and even animals such as dragons and snake-like goats are shown dancing and playing music around the religious scenes.
These are just some of the reasons why the Hours of Jeanne d’Evreux is widely regarded as a gem of Parisian court painting!
Our thanks to Facsimile Finder for helping us create this post. You can learn more about this manuscript and see more images by visiting their website.