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Grandes Heures of Philip the Bold: MS 3-1954

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Current Location: In storage


Grandes Heures of Philip the Bold


Scribe: L'Avenant, Jean
Artist: Master of the Bible of Jean de Sy
Artist: Master of the Coronation Book of Charles V
Artist: Caussin, Marc
Artist: Vrelant, Willem
Scribe: Miélot, Jean
Artists: Masters of the Gold Scrolls
Artist: Master of Wauquelin's Alexander
Artist: Le Tavernier, Jan
Artist: Dreux Jean
Artist: Master of Folpard van Amerongen
Artist: Master of the Coronation of Ursus
Artist: Master of the Girart Burial Scenes
Binder: Cockerell Bindery




MS 3-1954, Grandes Heures (Great Book of Hours) of Philip the Bold

Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy (1363-1404), is said to have recited his prayers daily from this manuscript, his Grandes Heures. A witness to his spiritual life, the volume is also his crowning achievement as an art-loving bibliophile. With nearly 200 images, this is one of the most sophisticated manuscripts to survive from the library of the Burgundian Dukes.

The manuscript was produced in two main campaigns. The first was initiated in 1376 by Philip the Bold and paid for in 1379, with a few texts and images added in 1390. Philip’s confessor Guillaume de Valen entrusted the production to leading members of the Parisian book trade who also worked for the Duke’s brother, King Charles V of France. The second campaign was completed in 1451 for Philip’s grandson, Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy (1419-1467), by Flemish scribes and artists. At least nineteen artists worked on different illustrations within this book. Although we know the names of some of them from the Duke’s accounts, the majority of the artists remain anonymous.

Parchment, i modern parchment flyleaf + 275 fols. (fols. 226 – 261 have mid-fifteenth-century foliation in red ink: i – xviii, xxii – xxviii, xxxiiii – xxxv, xxxvii – xlv) + i modern parchment flyleaf, 250 x 180 (163 x 105) mm, 24 long lines (except fols. 84r – 89v, 20 long lines), ruled in brown or pink (fifteenth-century additions) ink, leaves lost between fols. 69 – 70, 78 – 79, 105 – 106, 152 – 153, 243 – 244, 250 – 251, 252 – 253, 265 – 266, offsets of some 25 devotional tokens and bracteates once attached to margins on fols. 226r – 228r, 236v – 252r, 262v – 263v.

BINDING: 1983, red leather over cushioned oak boards, by the Cockerell Bindery; boards from previous binding kept on file and spine mounted inside lower cover: eighteenth century, gold-stamped mottled brown leather over pasteboards.

CONTENTS: fols. 1r – 12v Calendar; fols. 13r – 26v Hours of the Virgin, Matins (fols. 13r – 20v, continue on fol. 90r), Vespers (fols. 21r – 24r), Compline (fols. 24v – 26v), fols. 27r – 32v Penitential Psalms; fols. 32v – 35v Litany; fol. 36r-v Prayer O excellentissima et gloriosissima atque sanctissima virgo (fifteenth-century addition); fols. 37r – 57r Office of the Dead; fols. 57r – 62v Gradual Psalms; fols. 62v – 76v Hours of the Holy Spirit; fols. 76v, 78r-v Hours of the Cross (incomplete); fols. 79r – 80v Ordo, Prefaces and Canon of the Mass
fols. 90r – 91v Hours of the Virgin, Matins (continued from fol. 20v); fols. 92r – 96v Hours of the Virgin, Lauds; fols. 97r – 99v Hours of the Virgin, Prime
fols. 100r – 101v Hours of the Virgin, Terce; fols. 102r – 103v Hours of the Virgin, Sext; fols. 104r – 105r Hours of the Virgin, None; fols. 106r – 108r Prayer in Latin verse summarizing events in New Testament (Acts 5 – Apocalypse), Monstrans umbria varia signa petri ducis (begins imperfectly); fol. 108r Suffrage of St Claude; fols. 109r – 120v Votive Masses for each day of the week to be said in Sainte Chapelle fols. 121r – 213r Votive Masses for major feasts, mainly in the Temporal, including fifteenth-century additions of Mass for Pentecost (fols. 190r – 192v), beginning of Mass of the Holy Sacrament (fol. 193v, repeating original text on fol. 189v), and Mass for the Visitation (fols. 200r – 202r); fols. 213r – 219r Prayers in French and Latin to be said at Mass; fols. 219r – 225r Prayers to Christ in French (fols. 221 – 225 fifteenth-century addition); fols. 226r – 260v Suffrages, with French rubrics (fols. 237 – 238, 242 – 243, 252 – 257 fifteenth-century additions containing suffrages to Sts; fols. 260v – 261r Two prayers in French to be said at Elevation of the Host, Ie te salue ihesucrist parole du pere and Ihesu de Nazareth mon dieu et mon confort; fols. 261r – 262v O intemerata in French, O tres enterine et pardurablement benoite especiaux et non comparable vierge; fols. 263r – 264v Obsecro te in French, Ie te pri dame sainte marie, with papal indulgences; fols. 264v – 266v Prayers to Sts Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Guardian Angel, and St John the Baptist; fols. 266v – 271v Lord’s Prayer, with exposition; fols. 271v – 273r Hymn to the Virgin indulgenced in 1367 by David Pauteix, Bishop of Autun (1361 – 1377); fols. 273v – 274r Meditation on the Passion in verse, Imperator celestium, infernorum terrestruim, indulgenced in 1370 by David Pauteix, Bishop of Autun (1361 – 1377); fols. 274v – 275v Two indulgenced Passion prayers in French, Seigneur Ihesu crist filz de dieu and Sire Ihesu crist qui as prins ceste tres sacree char de la tres glorieuse vierge marie, followed by a Latin version of the second prayer, Domine Ihesu Christequi hanc sacratissimam carnem de gloriosissime virginis marie utero assumpsisti (fifteenth-century additions).

FOURTEENTH CENTURY: Twenty-four small framed marginal miniatures of Occupations of the Month and Zodiac Signs in Calendar: fol. 1v January, Janus drinking at table, Aquarius; fol. 2v February, Warming by fire, Pisces; fol. 3v March, Pruning, Aires; fol. 4v April, Youth with flower, Taurus; fol. 5v May, Hawking, Gemini; fol. 6v June, Mowing, Cancer; fol. 7v July, Reaping, Leo; fol. 8v August, Threshing, Virgo; fol. 9v September, Treading grapes, Libra; fol. 10v October, Sowing, Scorpio; fol. 11v November, Beating acorns for pigs, Sagittarius; fol. 12v December, Slaughtering pig, Capricorn.

One full-page framed miniature with gold ivy-leaf spraywork extensions in border and a kissing Crucifix in bas-de-page:
fol. 77r Canon of the Mass, Throne of Mercy within a quadrilobed mandorla, with Evangelists’ symbols in corners.

Ten large framed miniatures enclosed within red, white, blue and gold quatrefoils, at major text divisions: fol. 13r Hours of the Virgin, Matins, Annunciation, with Philip the Bold praying in historiated initial below and arms of Burgundy supported by lions (almost erased) in bas-de-page; fol. 21r Vespers, Flight into Egypt, bas-de-page scene of horse-taming; fol. 24v Compline, Coronation of the Virgin, bas-de-page scene of man attacking lion; fol. 27r Penitential Psalms, Christ in Majesty blessing Chalice and Host on right, Tablets of the Law on left, Evangelists’ symbols in corners, bas-de-page scene of boar-hunt; fol. 37r Office of the Dead, Funeral office, bas-de-page scene of combat between hybrid and snail; fol. 92r Hours of the Virgin, Lauds, Visitation, bas-de-page scene of wild-man attacking lion; fol. 97r Prime, Nativity, bas-de-page scene of hybrids in combat; fol. 100r Terce, Annunciation to the Shepherds, bas-de-page scene of hare pursued by hounds; fol. 102r Sext, Adoration of the Magi, bas-de-page scene of kickboots game; fol. 104r None, Presentation in the Temple, bas-de-page scene of the Miracle of the Harvest.

One hundred and four small framed miniatures with ivy-leaf spraywork extensions: fol. 57r Gradual Psalms, Philip the Bold kneeling at foot of seven steps leading to altar with Crucifix; fol. 62v Hours of the Holy Spirit, Matins, Baptism of Christ; fol. 66r Lauds, Pentecost; fol. 67v Prime, Saint preaching inspired by the dove of the Holy Spirit; fol. 69r Terce, Young man confessing to saint, dove of Holy Spirit by his ear; fol. 70v Sext, Saint baptising young man and woman; fol. 71v None, Saint cast in prison, dove of Holy Spirit descending to comfort him; fol. 73r Vespers, Saint beaten by persecutors supervised by king, dove of Holy Spirit descending to comfort him; fol. 74v Compline, Martyrdom of three saints, executioner with sword supervised by king, dove of Holy Spirit descending; fol. 78v Hours of the Cross, Matins, Betrayal; fol. 109r Votive Masses, Trinity Sunday, Throne of Mercy Trinity; fol. 121r Masses for major feasts, Advent, Annunciation; fol. 122v Christmas midnight Mass, Nativity, midwives bathing Christ; fol. 124r Christmas morning Mass, Annunciation to the Shepherds; fol. 126r Christmas High Mass, Nativity, Virgin embracing Christ Child; fol. 128v Epiphany, Adoration of the Magi; fol. 130v Candlemas, Presentation in the Temple; fol. 132v Palm Sunday, Entry into Jerusalem; fol. 140r Tuesday of Passion Week, St Mary Magdalene wiping Christ’s feet with her hair; fol. 145v Wednesday of Passion Week, Last Supper with eleven Apostles and Christ’s Institution of the Eucharist; fol. 162r Good Friday, Deposition; fol. 186r Easter Sunday, Resurrection, Christ stepping from Tomb; fol. 187v Ascension; fol. 189v Votive Mass for the Holy Sacrament, Elevation of the Host; fol. 195v Votive Mass for St John the Baptist, Nativity of St John the Baptist, Zacharias writing name on tablet; fol. 197v Votive Mass for St Peter, St Peter freed from prison by angel; fol. 202r Assumption; fol. 203v Nativity of the Virgin; fol. 205v St Michael defeating devil; fol. 207v All Saints, Christ seated among saints; fol. 210r Votive Mass for St Andrew, Martyrdom of St Andrew; fol. 213r Prayers at Mass, Philip the Bold attending Mass said by priest accompanied by acolyte; fol. 226r Suffrages, Virgin, Philip the Bold praying to Virgin and Child; fol. 226r Holy Cross, Philip the Bold praying to Crucified Christ; fol. 226v Crown of Thorns, Philip the Bold praying at altar with Crown of Thorns and two head reliquaries; fol. 226v Angels, St Michael subduing devil, watched by angelic host; fol. 227r Annunciation; fol. 227v Philip the Bold praying to St John the Baptist; fol. 227v St John writing, eagle above; fol. 228r St Luke writing, ox below; fol. 228r St Mark writing, lion below; fol. 230r St Mary Magdalene, Noli me tangere; fol. 230r Philip the Bold reading from book, St Peter standing on right with book and key; fol. 230v Philip the Bold praying to St Paul; fol. 230v Sts Peter and Paul; fol. 231r Philip the Bold praying to St James the Great; fol. 231v Philip the Bold reading book, St Bartholomew standing on right with book and knife; fol. 231v St Matthew writing, angel above; fol. 232r Philip the Bold praying to St Simon; fol. 232r Philip the Bold reading book, St Jude standing on right with book; fol. 232v Philip the Bold praying to St Andrew; fol. 233r St Thomas placing hand in Christ’s side; fol. 233r Philip the Bold praying to St Mathias; fol. 233v Philip the Bold praying to St James the Less; fol. 233v Philip the Bold reading book, St Phillip standing on right with book; fol. 234r St Veronica, Holy Face; fol. 234v Martyrdom of St Benignus; fol. 234v Philip the Bold praying to St Barnabas; fol. 235r Martyrdom of St Stephen; fol. 235v Martyrdom of St Lawrence; fol. 235v Martyrdom of St Clement; fol. 236r St Vincent in bed, his soul received by two angels; fol. 236v St George slaying dragon, princess praying behind; fol. 239r Martyrdom of St Peter Martyr; fol. 239r Martyrdom of St Thomas of Canterbury; fol. 239v Martyrdom of St Blaise; fol. 240r Trinity, Throne of Mercy; fol. 240r Martyrdom of St Sebastian; fol. 241r Vision of St Eustace; fol. 241r St Julian the Hospitaller ferrying the leper (Christ) across river; fol. 241v St Julian of Le Mans producing miraculous spring with his staff; fol. 244r St Christopher carrying Christ Child across river; fol. 244r Martyrdom of St Denis and companions; fol. 244v Sts Cosmas and Damian as doctors holding drug pots; fol. 245r Martyrdom of St Maurice and companions; fol. 245v Holy Innocents, Massacre of the Innocents; fol. 245v St Germanus of Auxerre blessing and holding archiepiscopal cross; fol. 246r St Martin dividing cloak with beggar; fol. 246v St Nicholas reviving three youths in tub; fol. 246v St Anthony with book and crutch standing among flames; fol. 247r Charlemagne enthroned, holding sword and orb; fol. 247v St Augustine holding book and crosier; fol. 247v St Bernard holding book and crosier; fol. 248r St Yves pointing at book; fol. 248v St Louis IX holding fleur-de-lis staff and main de justice; fol. 248v St Louis of Marseilles in Franciscan habit, with mitre, holding crown and crosier; fol. 249r St Dominic preaching inspired by Holy Spirit; fol. 249v St Thomas Aquinas teaching; fol. 249v St Francis receiving stigmata; fol. 250r St Giles holding book and sheltering deer; fol. 250r St Leonard with two prisoners fol. 250v St Maurus as Benedictine monk holding crosier and book; fol. 251r St Fiacre in brown hood and scapular with spade and book; fol. 251r St Sulpicius with mitre and archiepiscopal cross; fol. 251v St Martha with book and palm branch, Tarasque with fish-tail and dragon’s wings at her feet; fol. 258r St Agnes with book, palm branch, and lamb; fol. 258r St Catherine disputing with doctors; fol. 258v St Margaret emerging from dragon; fol. 259r Martyrdom of Sts Valerian and Cecilia; fol. 259r Suffrage for St Elizabeth of Hungary, Visitation; fol. 259v Martyrdom of St Agatha; fol. 259v Martyrdom of St Lucy; fol. 260r Martyrdom of St Apollonia; fol. 260v 11,000 Virgins.

Historiated initial in white-patterned blue on pink ground within gold frame:
fol. 13r Hours of the Virgin, Matins, [D, 5 ll.] Philip the Bold kneeling in prayer and looking up to Annunciation miniature.

FIFTEENTH CENTURY: Full-page framed miniature on separate piece of parchment pasted in, with full acanthus, floral and spraywork border including parrot and cat with mouse:
fol. 254v Suffrage for St Mary Magdalene, St Mary Magdalene standing in apse and holding ointment jar; full-page framed miniature on separate piece of parchment once pasted on fol. 78r and surrounded by acanthus, floral and spraywork border has been removed.

Two large framed miniatures, the first one with full acanthus, floral and spraywork border: fol. 242r Prayer to the Magi, Adoration of the Magi; fol. 253v Suffrage for St Gregory, on separate piece of parchment Mass of St Gregory witnessed by Philip the Good who wears the collar of the Order of the Golden Fleece and prays kneeling on carpet displaying arms of Burgundy, vision of Christ surrounded by Instruments of the Passion, retable depicting Crucifixion with St Agnes, St Peter and Virgin on liturgical right, and Sts John, Paul, and Catherine on liturgical left.

Three half-page framed miniatures with full or partial acanthus, floral and spraywork borders including birds: fol. 193v Mass of the Holy Sacrament, Elevation of the Host, angels attending to priest elevating the Host at altar with retable showing Carrying of the Cross, Crucifixion, Deposition, and Resurrection, and surmounted by folding side-panels depicting Virgin and Christ in Majesty; fol. 252r Suffrage for All Saints, God the Father and Virgin enthroned in Heaven among saints and angels; fol. 256r Suffrage for St Anne, St Anne seated with open book, Virgin and Child standing beside, angels playing harp and lute, picture frame including gold fusil and flint.

Eleven small framed miniatures for masses and Suffrages, some with partial acanthus, floral and spraywork borders: fol. 190r Pentecost; fol. 200r Visitation; fol. 237r St Adrian in full armour standing on lion, holding sword and hammer resting on anvil; fol. 237v Suffrage for St Lazarus, miniature pasted in c.1450 has been removed; fol. 238r on separate piece of parchment pasted in St Eligius and the Miracle of the horse’s leg; fol. 238v St Remigius blessing and holding archiepiscopal cross, canopy and picture frame displaying Philip the Good’s devices, the double ‘e’ monogram and the golden fusils and flints of the Order of the Golden Fleece; fol. 243r St Claude with mitre, open book, and archiepiscopal cross; fol. 252v Suffrage for St Barbara, miniature pasted in c.1450 has been removed; fol. 253r on separate piece of parchment St Marcellus holding red-hot iron bar and assisting blacksmith at forge; fol. 255v St Gertrude holding book and staff; fol. 257r St Waltrude holding staff and standing before table with open book; fol. 257v St Aldegund holding book and crosier, standing in chapel, dove flying down with her black veil; fol. 274v Passion prayer, Flagellation; fol. 275r Passion prayer, image on separate piece of parchment pasted in border c.1450 has been removed.

FOURTEENTH CENTURY: Blue or pink white-patterned initials [5 – 7 ll.] with foliage infill on gold grounds, three-sided gold, blue and red bar borders and full ivy-leaf borders including birds, in Calendar and at main text divisions; identical initials [2 ll.] with ivy-leaf spraywork extensions; alternate gold and blue one-line initials with blue or red pen-flourished infill and extensions; gold, blue and red geometric line-fillers; capitals highlighted in red.

FIFTEENTH CENTURY: Blue white-patterned initials [2 – 4 ll.] with foliage infill on gold grounds (fols. 237v, 242r, 257r-v); gold initials [1 – 3 ll.] on dark pink and blue white-patterned grounds (fols. 190r -193v, 200r – 202r, 237r-v, 238v, 242v – 243v, 256v – 257v, 274v – 275v); blue penwork initials [2 – 5 ll.] with red and blue pen-flourished infill and extensions (fols. 36r, 252r, 253r – 255v); alternate gold and blue one-line initials with blue or red pen-flourishing; alternate red and blue penwork initials [1 – 3 ll.] (fols. 221r – 225r); gold, blue and red foliate, geometric or bar linefillers.


History note: Given to the museum by the widow of Viscount Lee of Fareham, in accordance with his wishes

Place(s) associated

  • Paris ⪼ France
  • Valenciennes ⪼ France
  • Bruges ⪼ France
  • Brussels
  • Tournai ⪼ Flanders
  • Oudenaarde ⪼ Brabant

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1954) by Executors of Viscount Lee of Fareham


14th Century, Late#
15th Century, second quarter#
15th Century, Mid#
Circa 1376 CE - Circa 1379 CE Circa 1445 CE - Circa 1450 CE


Binder 1983

People, subjects and objects depicted


  • Cambridge Illuminated

Components of the work

Support composed of parchment

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: Dominus tecum
  • Location: Fol. 14
  • Type: Secundo folio

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS 3-1954
Primary reference Number: 170618
Project ID: 150
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 21 August 2023 Last processed: Wednesday 13 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Manuscripts and Printed Books

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