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Medieval Manuscripts: Book Altar of Philip the Good

Mobility was very important for the dukes of Burgundy, who traveled from residence to residence to impose their authority on their young, but vast dominion. Philip the Good was no exception. Yet, giving up prayers was not an option for him, so he commissioned a unique, portable panel diptych that also contained a prayer book.

The miniatures of the diptych, dating back to around 1430, were so precious to Philip that he had to have them with him every time he said his prayers. One of the subjects, the Trinity, was also the symbol of Champmol Abbey in France, where the Dukes of Burgundy were buried.

The illustrations of the book itself were crafted by an unknown painter in the international Gothic style at least twenty years after the ones in the diptych, and contain many references to the House of Burgundy, as well as the personal arms of Duke Philip.

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.

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