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Book of Hours (of Isabella Stuart): MS 62

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Current Location: In storage


Book of Hours (of Isabella Stuart)


Artist: Master of the Hours of Rohan
Artist: Master of Giac
Artist: Master of the Madonna (And associates)




MS 62, The Hours of Isabella Stuart

One of the most extensively illustrated Books of Hours in existence, this volume contains a unique, highly personalised combination of images and texts. It was completed by 1431 for the learned and powerful Duchess of Anjou, Yolande of Aragon (1381-1442). Over the next three decades, the manuscript belonged to three other women and was continuously adapted to suit their devotional needs and dynastic aspirations.

The manuscript, a personal prayer book, contains over 500 figural scenes and other forms of decoration. It was illuminated by professional artists working in Angers for Yolande of Aragon, Dowager Duchess of Anjou. She probably gave the volume to her daughter, Yolande of Anjou (1412-1440), around the time of her marriage to the future Duke Francis I of Brittany in 1431. After her death, the volume came into the possession of Francis’ second wife, Isabella Stuart (1427-after 1494), and then passed on to their daughter, Margaret of Brittany (1443-1469).

We do not know the names of the artists who worked on this impressive volume, but we can distinguish different hands through changes in styles. Recent scientific analysis of the pigments used support the attributions made on stylistic grounds. Breton artists working in Nantes adapted and added illuminations for Isabella and Margaret, and variations in the underdrawings and the use of different pigments help to distinguish between their work and that of the original artists based in Angers.


History note: Made for the woman originally portrayed on fol. 20r; Isabella Stuart (1427-after 1494), her arms added throughout the volume and her portrait painted over that of the original owner on fol. 20r; to her daughter, Margueritte of Brittany (1443-1469); Isambert family of Paris, whose register for the period 1578-1619 is on fols. 231v-233; Richard, seventh Viscount Fitzwilliam of Merrion (1745–1816), acquired in 1808; his bequest, 1816.

Legal notes

Bequeated by Viscount Richard Fitzwilliam of Merrion

Place(s) associated

  • Angers ⪼ North ⪼ France

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1816) by Fitzwilliam, Richard, 7th Viscount


15th Century#
Production date: AD 1431

People, subjects and objects depicted


  • Cambridge Illuminated

Components of the work

Material composed of gold leaf ink
Support composed of parchment (skin)
Text Height 120 mm Width 75 mm
Page Height 250 mm Width 180 mm

Techniques used in production

Tinted drawing

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: Fevrier a xxviii iours (Calendar, February)
  • Location: F. 2r
  • Type: Secundo folio
  • Text: (illu-)minat omnem hominem (Sequences of the Gospels)
  • Location: F. 14r
  • Type: Secundo folio
  • Text: Heures a Moy appartenans Isambert
  • Location: F. i'r'
  • Type: Ownership inscription

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS 62
Primary reference Number: 90393
Project ID: 312
Wikidata: Q1669643
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Friday 2 September 2022 Last processed: Thursday 7 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Book of Hours (of Isabella Stuart)" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-07-21 09:34:10

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{{cite web|url= |title=Book of Hours (of Isabella Stuart) |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-07-21 09:34:10|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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