PAINTED IN SOFT SHADES OF SEMI-GRISAILLE FROM THE WORKSHOP OF THE “PRINCE OF ILLUMINATION”
Book of Hours (Use of Cambrai)
In Latin and French, illuminated manuscript on parchment,
France, Valenciennes, c. 1475-1480
1 large and 14 small miniatures by the Workshop of Simon Marmion
The “prince of illumination” Simon Marmion was responsible for this Book of Hours. This beautiful manuscript is remarkable for its delicate painting executed in soft, pastel tones, known as “semi-grisaille,” a technique Marmion perfected. A wealthy monastery, St.-Jean-Baptiste of Valenciennes, commissioned the book, and the foundation also owned panel paintings (now destroyed) by the famous artist. Born in Amiens, Marmion moved in 1458 to the more flourishing town of Valenciennes then in the County of Hainaut to take advantage of the patronage of the affluent Dukes of Burgundy who controlled the town. The Dukes also actively sponsored art in local religious foundations.