Printed Book of Hours Hardouyn Workshop | Inventory | Les Enluminures




Paris was truly the epicenter of the production of printed books of Hours from 1485 to nearly 1550.  Many of these imprints, like this example, consciously imitated illuminated manuscripts.  In this particularly appealing volume, fourteen metalcuts are so vibrantly and expertly painted that they are indistinguishable from illuminated miniatures. It is a tiny book, in a distinctive and unusual format, very narrow and oblong, fitting easily in a pocket to carry about for use in private devotion. This is a very rare imprint, possibly a unicum.

ii (paper) + 90 + ii folios (paper) on parchment, marbled pastedowns, agenda 8vo, complete (collation A [signed Aii-Aiii] B-K8 [signed on the first four leaves only] L4 [signed Li-Liii] M6 [signed Mi-Mv), frame-ruled in light red on some folios, (justification 117 x 46 mm.), printed in Roman font in thirty-two long lines in black ink, signature "Ro" designating liturgical use of Rome in quires B, C, and E- M, KL-initials (calendar) in liquid gold on dark pink or blue grounds, 1- to 2-line initials throughout in similar liquid gold on dark pink or blue grounds, 1 six-line metalcut, 14 large metalcuts and printer's device set in architectonic liquid gold frames with dangling cords and tassels, all metalcuts hand-painted in bright colors with liquid gold, a few stains, sig. F4-6, loose. Early binding, late sixteenth- or seventeenth-century of brown leather gold tooled with two sets of double fillets forming a narrow rectangular center panel and an outer border, gold tooled spine with four raised bands, gild edges, worn at joints and corners but in good condition.  Dimensions 140 x 65 mm


1. Printed in Paris by Germain Hardouyn, with an almanac for the years 1536-1548, suggesting a date of printing c. 1536. Germain was a printer in Paris from some point early in the sixteenth century; he took over for his brother, Gillet Hardouyn or Hardouyn (a printer active in Paris from 1491 until 1521/1523) in 1521/1523, and contiuned until 1541 (see Renouard, 1965, pp. 197-198; Müller, 1970, p. 76).

This is a very rare imprint, not in Lacombe (1907) or Brunet (1860-1865); possibly the same as Moreau-Renouard, 1972-2004, vol. 5, p. 105, no. 194, BP 16 108201, Bohatta, 1924, no. 1177, although no collation is listed, and the imprint is described simply as an octavo, listed in these sources is a single copy sold by L. Rosenthal, Munich, Cat. XXII, no. 4032, no date, 188?, where it is described as bound in modern gold-tooled calf.

2. European Continental Collection.


sig. a1, Title-page, "Hore beate Marie virginis se//cundum vsum Romanum totaliter// ad longum sine require / impresse// Parisius per. G. Hardouyn alme/ vniuersitatis Parisiensis bibliopo//le iurati / commorantis inter duas // portas Palatii ad intersignium di/ue Margarete.// Chascun foit content de ses biens// Car qui na souffisance na riens./"; 

sig. A1v, incipit, [On the Host at Dijon] "Vng iuif mutilant iadis. Lhostie du sainct sacrament …; Eugene au tresor de leglise …; In eleuationis sacre hostis …"; 

sig A2, Almanac for the years 1536-1548; 

sig. A2v-A8, Calendar, in red and black ink;  

sig. A8v-B1, Gospel according to John; 

sig. B1-B1v, Gospel according to Luke; 

sig. B2-B2v, Gospel according to Matthew; 

sig. B2v, Gospel according to Mark; 

sig. B3-B7, Passion according to John; followed by prayers; 

sig. B7v-C1, Obsecro te

sig. C1-C2v, O intemerata

sig. C2v-C3, Sequuntur septem gaudia spiritualia …, incipit, "Gaudia flore virginali …"; 

sig. C3v-G1, Hours of the Virgin, use of Rome, with the Hours of the Holy Cross and Holy Spirit worked in: sig. C3v, Matins; D3, Lauds; D8, Matins Holy Cross; E1, Matins Holy Spirit; E1v, Prime; E3, Prime Holy Cross; E3v, Prime Holy Spirit; E4, Terce; E5v, Terce Holy Cross; E6, Terce Holy Spirit; E6v, Sext; E8, Sext Holy Cross; E8v, Sext Holy Spirit; F1, None; F2v, None Holy Spirit; F3, None Holy Cross; F3v, Vespers; F6, Vespers Holy Cross; F6v, Vespers Holy Spirit; F7, Compline; F8v, Compline Holy Cross; G1, Compline Holy Spirit; 

sig. G1v, Salve regina; 

sig. G2, Antiphona ad beata mariam, incipit, "Alma redemptoris"; 

sig. G2-G4, Prayers to be recited according to the days of the week; 

sig. G5v-H5, Penitential Psalms; followed by Litany and Prayers; 

sig. H5v-K2v, Office of the Dead (use of Rome); 

sig. K3, Prayers for the dead, Oratio pro fidelibus defunctis

sig. K3v-K8, Suffrages; 

sig. K8rv, Stabat Mater

sig. L1rv, Seven prayers of Saint Gregory;

sig. L1v-L4, incipit, "Missus est gabriel angelus …";

sig. L4-M3, Hours of the Conception of the Virgin;

sig. M3-M4v, Mass of the Virgin; 

sig. M4v-M5v, Prayer of St. Augustine, incipit, "Deus propicius esto …";

sig. M6rv, Table of contents, concluding, "Finif" [sic]; 

sig. M6v, Colophon: "Ces presentes heures a lusaige// de Romme / tout au long sans re-//querir ont este nouvellement impri//mees a Paris par G. hardouyn Li//braire iure de luniuersite de Paris// demourant audit lieu entre les deux// portes du palays a lenseigne sain//cte Marguerite." 

This book was printed by Germain Hardouyn, a printer, bookseller and publisher (libraire juré) associated with the University of Paris, and an illuminator, who was active from 1500-1541.  Many of his earlier books were published and printed with his brother Gilles. He then went on to publish books by himself, as is the case here. Hardouyn specialized in small "agenda"-format Books of Hours like this one-very small books with a distinctive long and narrow shape (he also produced more traditionally-shaped miniature Books of Hours).  An earlier example in this same "agenda" format was produced c. 1509 (see Moreau-Renouard, 1972-2004, I, 112; Tenschert and Nettekoven, 2003, III, no. 143); the Book of Hours sold at Sotheby's, December 7, 2015, lot 21, is an example that appears to be very similar to the volume described here, with the same collation, but slightly earlier, with an almanac from 1534-1536.  Imprints in these unusual formats all tend to be quite rare.  Many survive in only a single copy. 

Printed Books of Hours were one of the mainstays of Parisian publishers and printers in the Renaissance; countless editions were produced between 1488 and 1568. The new technology of printing, at least in theory, introduced Books of Hours, a prayer book for the laity, to a broader audience; the growing urban middle class was one of the chief purchasers of these books.  Many printed Books of Hour, however, were luxurious productions, like this small gem of a book, which is printed on vellum.  Although some printed Books of Hours were left in their pristine black- and-white condition, just as they came off the press (though they invariably had painted initials, line endings, and ruling added by hand), others, like the volume described here, had their prints lavishly painted.  Hardouyn's shop in fact seems to have specialized in Books of Hours with hand-painted metalcuts.  The artists who colored the printed illustrations were often active as traditional illuminators as well, making it difficult to distinguish the illustrations from those found in manuscripts.  


Hardouyn's device, one small illustration set within the text, and fourteen metalcuts set at the top of page above the text, all framed in gold, and completely and expertly painted, measuring c. 50 x 36 mm.(55 x 48 mm. including the border).  

Subjects as follows: 

sig A1, Hardouyn's device (a simplified version, over-painted so the device on the shield is indistinct, of Silvestres, 1853, no. 57); 

sig. A1v, small (6-line) image of the miraculous host; 

sig A8v, [John's Gospel], John the Evangelist; 

sig. B3, [Passion according to John], Arrest of Christ;

sig. C3v, [Hours of the Virgin, Matins], Annunciation; 

sig. D3, [Lauds], Visitation; 

sig. D8, [Hours of the Cross], Crucifixion; 

sig. E1, [Hours of the Holy Spirit], Pentecost; 

sig. E1v, [Prime], Nativity;

sig. E4, [Terce], Annunciation to the Shepherds;

sig. E6v, [Sext], Adoration of the Magi; 

sig. F1, [None], Presentation in the Temple (similar to the small picture series by the Pichore workshop for Hardouyn, here reversed); 

sig. F3v, [Vespers], Flight into Egypt (similar to the mall picture series by the Pichore workshop for Hardouyn, here reversed); 

sig. F7, [Compline], Coronation of the Virgin (cf. Tenschert and Nettekoven, 2003, no. 145, c. 1526, Small picture series, Bossozel-Hardouin); 

sig. G5v, [Penitential Psalms], Bathsheba bathing while David watches (cf. Sotheby's, December 7, 2015, lot 21, almanac from 1534-1536); 

sig. H5v, [Office of the Dead], Job on his dungheap. 

This hand-painted Book of Hours is of an unusual octavo agenda format, very narrow and tall (on these smaller and unusual formats, see Tenschert and Nettekoven, 2003, vol. III and Nettekoven, Ina, Heribert Tenschert und Caroline Zöhl, 2015, vol. VIII : "Sehr kleine Studenbucher und andere Sonderformate der Spatzeit"). In early examples of Horae in this narrow format, Gillet Hardouyn used metalcuts from a smaller series and from border cycles (Tenschert and Nettekoven, 2003, vol. III, no. 143, c. 1509).  In the 1520s, Germain Hardouyn began using a series of small metalcuts originally made for Guillaume Eustace in 1507 (in 16o) (Zöhl, 2004, pp. 148-151; Tenschert and Nettekoven, 2003, vol. III, no. 145).  Both these series of metalcuts are by the Parisian artist who worked most closely with the Hardouyn brothers, Jean Pichore, active in Paris c. 1502-1521.  Although Pichore was mainly an illuminator, he was also an entrepreneur at the head of a large and productive workshop in Paris, supplying designs for metalcuts used to illustrate Books of Hours printed by Simon Vostre, Thielman Kerver, and the brothers Gillet and Germain Hardouyn. 

The illustrations in our Book of Hours do not belong to these two series by Pichore, nor have they been identified with any other series found in published examples of Books of Hours in this format.  It seems likely that Hardouyn commissioned, or acquired, another set of small, narrow metalcuts for use in books published in this format, perhaps from a source other than Pichore, although certainly borrowing heavily from his metalcuts.  To the best of our knowledge, this series is currently unstudied and has not been published.  Parallels to the illustrations in our book are found in a unique Book of Hours, printed by Germain Hardouyn, c. 1534 (Tenschert and Nettekoven, 2003, III, no. 147), that is illustrated by a series of miniatures, rather than metalcuts, but which might be based on a set of metalcuts used by Hardouyn in these late books (cf. Sotheby's, December 7, 2015, lot 21, almanac from 1534-1536, known to us only by the two published images).  It is interesting that Hardouyn produced two similar imprints c. 1534 (the c. 1534 Sotheby's imprint is different in size and collation from Tenschert and Nettekoven no. 147).  

Although small in size, the illustrations in our volume are very carefully and thoroughly painted; no trace of the metalcuts are now visible.  Backgrounds tend to be delineated without much detail, but the main figures are realized with considerable skill, with shaded drapery-folds, and usually with careful facial features.  The palate features blue, red, orange, and green, with frequent use of liquid gold for highlights.  The painting is in fact so successful, that one could raise the intriguing possibility that our illustrations are in fact miniatures, and not colored metalcuts at all.  Alternatively, it is possible that their distinctive features were introduced by the artist, since artists did not always follow the metalcut closely.  Certainly, these possibilities that will repay further study. 


Bohatta, Hanns. Bibliographie der Livres d'Heures: Horae BMV, Officia, Hortuli Animae, Coronae BMV, Rosaria und Cursus BMV des XV und XVI Jahrhunderts, Vienna, 1924. 

Brunet, Charles Jacques. "Notice sur les Heures Gothiques Imprimées à Paris à la fin du quinzième siècle et dans une partie du seizième," Manuel du libraire et de l'amateur de livre, Paris 1860-1865, Vol. 5, col. 1553-1684; Hardouyn, cc. 1628-1644. 

Lacombe, P. Livres d'heures imprimés au XVe et XVIe siècle, conservés dans les bibliothèques publiques de Paris, Paris, 1907. 

Moreau, Brigitte and Renouard, Philippe Renouard, with G. Guilleminot-Chrétien and M. Breazu. Inventaire chronologique des éditions parisiennes du XVIe siècle, Histoire générale de Paris, 5 vols., Paris, 1972-2004. 

Müller, J. Dictionnaire abrégé des imprimeurs/éditeurs français du XVIe s., Paris, 1970, p. 76. 

Nettekoven, Ina, Heribert Tenschert und Caroline Zöhl. 365 gedruckte Stundenbücher aus der Sammlung Bibermühle. 1487-1586, Antiquariat Heribert Tenschert, 2015. 

Pettegree and Walsby, Pettegree, Andrew, and Malcolm Walsby. French Books III & IV: Books Published in France Before 1601 in Latin and Languages Other Than French. Leiden: Brill, 2012, no. 67493.

Renouard, P. Répertoire des imprimeurs parisiens, Paris, 1965, pp. 197-198.épertoire%20des%20imprimeurs%20parisiens%20%20libraires,%20fondeurs%20de%20caractères 

Silvestre, L.-C. Marques typographiques, ou, Recueil des monogrammes, chiffres, enseignes, emblèmes, devises, rébus et fleurons des libraires et imprimeurs qui ont excercé en France, depuis l'introduction de l'imprimerie, en 1470 …, Paris, 1853. 

Tenschert, Heribert, and Ina Nettekoven, Horae B.M.V.: 158 Sundenbuchdrucke der Sammlung Bibermühle, Rotthalmünster, Antiquariat Heribert Tenschert, 2003. 

Zöhl, Caroline. Jean Pichore: Buchmaler, Graphiker und Verleger in Paris um 1500, Turnhout, 2004. 

Van Praet, J.  Catalogue de livres imprimés sur vélin, qui se trouvent dans des bibliothèques tant publiques que particulières, pour servir de suite au Catalogue des livres imprimés sur vélin de la Bibliothèque du roi, Paris, 1824.

Online Resources

Universal Short Title Catalogue (citing Brunet, V, col. 1643, no. 275).

BnF, Base des éditions parisiennes du 16ème siècle, BP16

Germain Hardouyn

BOH 180

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