Roman use

3.03 Book of Hours ca 1545.jpg


Roman use


[manuscript in Latin from France],


ca. 1545.


Produced about a century later than the other example in this exhibition, this book of hours was probably made to celebrate a marriage, as the cameos suggest. Three women and three men gaze at each other across the miniature: Ninus, the Assyrian king, and his alluring queen, Semiramis; Ulysses and the faithful Penelope; and Procne and her sister Philomela, regarding Tereus opposite, the geminus coniunx (“double spouse”) who married the one sister and raped the other. These rather odd and enigmatic images derive from a woodcut of the same scene in a book of hours published by Geoffroy Tory in Paris in 1529–1530.


Gift of the children of W.S. Davis, 1941.