A PICTURE ALBUM OF DELUXE RENAISSANCE PAINTINGS FOR THE MERCHANT CLASS
Book of Hours (unidentified use)
In Latin, illuminated manuscript on parchment
France, Paris or the Loire Valley (Tours?), c. 1525
12 large and 6 small miniatures from the Circle of Etienne Collault
Full-fledged Renaissance paintings adorn this Book of Hours. They are surrounded by extravagant painted architectural frames that imitate the ornate wood and stucco carvings ofound in chateaux of the period. The painter worked for the King and the court, and he signed a Book of Hours made in Paris. Even the elegant rounded script – imminently readable to the modern viewer -- represents a clear break with the Gothic style. The arms of the patron, consisting of symbols that tradesmen used, appear twice in the manuscript and signal the emergence of the merchant class as discerning patrons of art.