Book of Hours of Gregory XIII

Vatican City, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Ms. Vat. lat. 3767


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Illuminated Facsimiles

Book of Hours of Gregory XIII

Vatican City, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Ms. Vat. lat. 3767

Alternative titles
Libro d’Ore di Gregorio XIII – Libro de Horas de Gregori XIII – Stundenbuch Papst Gregors XIII. – Livre d’Heures de Grégoire XIII.
Physical features
Codex on parchment, dimensions 248 x 180 mm, I-141-I folios (284 pages). The folios are numbered up to 142, due to a numbering error on f. 3.
18th-century leather and cardboard binding, gold frame with geometric motifs along the margins of the boards. The spine dates from a later restoration in the mid-19th century.
France (Paris). The manuscript was produced in the second half of the 15th century and illuminated between the end of the 15th century and the beginning of the 16th century.
The calendar and the Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary were written according to the usage of Sarum (Salisbury). This indicates an English patronage of the manuscript. It belonged to Gregory XIII (b. 1501, d. 1585), born Ugo Boncompagni, 226th pope of the Catholic Church from 1572 until his death. The circumstances through which it came into his hands are unknown.
Present repository
On 5 November 1578, Gregory XIII donated the manuscript to the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, where it can still be found today under the signature Ms. Vat. lat. 3767.
ChristianityPrivate devotional books.
Calendar (f. 2r); Gospel Pericopes (f. 15r); Marian prayers (f. 19r); Hours of the Virgin Mary (f. 23r); suffrages (f. 38r); Hours of the Cross and Hours of Compassion (f. 71r); Hours of the Holy Spirit (f. 93v); Penitential Psalms (f. 96r); Gradual Psalms and other Psalms (f. 104v); litanies and prayers (f. 106v); Hours of the Dead (f. 113r); prayers (f. 133r); suffrages (f. 142r).
Littera textualis.
Richly decorated with large scenes from the Gospel and the Lives of the Saints, borders on all pages, decorated initials.
The miniatures can be attributed to three different artists: the Master of Philippa of Guelders, Jean (or Jos) Coene IV – previously identified as the Maître des Entrées Parisiennes – and the Master of the Gotha Book of Hours.

Data sheet: Illuminated Facsimiles®



Libro d’Ore di Gregorio XIII

Publishers – ArtCodex (Castelvetro di Modena, 2015), in coedition with the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, 2015).
Series – This facsimile edition of the Libro d’Ore di Gregorio XIII is included in the series Codices e Vaticanis Selecti, Series Maior, no. XCIX, published by the Vatican Library.
Limited edition – ArtCodex and the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana certify that the facsimile was produced in a limited edition of 999 copies numbered in Arabic numerals, plus an additional LX copies for Publishers.
Type of reproduction – Full-size colour reproduction of the entire original document. The facsimile reproduces the physical characteristics of the original manuscript as closely as possible, with the aim of substituting it in scientific research and in the libraries of bibliophile collectors.
Binding – Brown leather cover with gold impressions on the boards and spine. The binding might not correspond to that of the original document as it appears at the present moment.
Commentary – Commentary volume in Italian. Introduzione: il libro d’Ore (Giacomo Baroffio); Tra Francia e Inghilterra, fino a papa Gregorio XIII: descrizione e storia del manoscritto (Claudia Montuschi); Domine, labia mea aperies. Testo e liturgia (Giacomo Baroffio); L’ornamentazione (Caroline Zöhl); Trascrizione del testo (Giacomo Baroffio); Bibliografia; Indice dei nomi; Indice dei manoscritti e degli stampati antichi..
Certificate of authenticity – The certificate with the copy number is attached to the colophon of the facsimile. It is authenticated by Luciano Malagoli (president of ArtCodex) and Monsignor Cesare Pasini (prefect of the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana).
Extra content – The slipcase contains – together with the facsimile and the commentary volume – a reproduction of the map of the Seven Churches (pilgrimage destination during the Jubilee proclaimed by Gregory XIII in 1575) and a reproduction of the Canon of 1582 for the calendar reform (which ended the use of the Julian calendar and replaced it with the more precise Gregorian calendar, named after Gregory XIII).
ISBN – 978-88-6180-019-9.

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