Torriani Book of Hours


+39 333 9860 410

Illuminated Facsimiles

Torriani Book of Hours

ALTERNATIVE TITLES – Libro d’Ore Torriani – Livre d’Heures Torriani – Libro de Horas Torriani – Torriani-Stundenbuch.
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION – Codex on parchment, dimensions 73 x 57 mm, 143 folios (286 pages).
BINDING – The manuscript still preserves its original late 15th-century binding – which is exceptional due to its rarity. The boards are decorated with frames with plant motifs inserted one into the other and with cameos in ivory and mother-of-pearl: on the front board St. Catherine and on the back board St. Lucy, both surrounded by 4 putti (on the back board two putti have been lost). The inside boards are decorated with 14 painted enamels: the Kiss of Judas on the front inside board and the Ascent to Mount Calvary on the back inside board, with 6 busts of apostles surrounding each of the two scenes. Gilt edges.
ORIGIN – Italy (Milan).
DATING – Late 15th century (c. 1495).
PATRONAGE AND OWNERS – Before 2000, the codex was known as Morosini Book of Hours, due to a misinterpretation of the coat of arms on f. 1r, which was attributed to the Venetian Morosini family. Today, the same coat of arms is traced back to the Torriani (or Della Torre), a powerful Lombard family that held the Duchy of Milan before being ousted by the Visconti. The Torriani coat of arms was added after the manuscript was made, but most scholars today believe that the first owner was a noblewoman of that family. Subsequent owners of the codex were M. Jacobsen de La Crosnière (b. 1709, d. 1787) – as can be seen from a note of ownership on f. 141r-v -, and the bibliophile M. Armand Cigongne (b. 1790, d. 1859). In 1861 it was purchased by Henri d’Orléans (b. 1822, d. 1897), who took it to Chantilly in 1871.
PRESENT REPOSITORY – The manuscript is still in Chantilly today, housed in the Bibliothèque du Château (Musée Condé).
GENRE – Christianity, Private devotional books.
CONTENT – Calendar (ff. 2r-16v), Hours of the Virgin according to Roman usage (ff. 20r-96v), Penitential Psalms (ff. 99r-110r), Litany of the Saints (ff. 111r-122r), Office of the Cross (ff. 127r-130r), Office of the Holy Spirit (ff. 133r-136r), Prayer for the adoration of the Cross (ff. 138r-139v).
SCRIPT – Blackletter.
DECORATION – Torriani coat of arms on f. 1r, 12 miniatures arranged around the edges of the Calendar, 6 full-page miniatures (Nativity, David and Goliath, Flagellation, Crucifixion, Resurrection, Entombment), 12 historiated initials (Annunciation, Adoration of the Magi, Flight into Egypt, Fall of the idols, Massacre of the innocents, Presentation in the temple, Jesus among the doctors, Baptism of Christ, Entrance into Jerusalem, Agony in the garden, Lamentation, Pentecost). The decorative apparatus also includes borders with plant and animal motifs, numerous two-line champ initials and single-line minor initials. The manuscript’s connection to the city of Milan is confirmed by many miniatures. For instance, several Milanese saints are depicted in the calendar, and in November (f. 13v) the Basilica Vetus (the Cathedral of Santa Maria Maggiore) with the statue of the patron Saint Ambrose is depicted.
ILLUMINATORS – Matteo da Milano, Giovanni Ambrogio De Predis (b. 1455, d. 1509).
STYLE – Renaissance.
EXTERNAL LINKS – Bibliothèque virtuelle des manuscrits médiévaux (digitised manuscript).

Data sheet: Illuminated Facsimiles



Full-size color reproduction of the entire original document – The facsimile reproduces as close as possible the physical characteristics of the original document, with the aim to substitute it in the scientific research and in the libraries of the bibliophile collectors. Trimming and composition of the leaves reproduce the profile and structure of the original document. The binding corresponds to that of the original document as it appears at the present moment.
PublisherFranco Cosimo Panini Editore (Modena, 2009).
Series – Biblioteca Impossibile.
Limited edition – The facsimile was published in a limited edition of 980 copies overall for worldwide distribution.
Certificate of authenticity – The certificate with the copy number is in the colophon, authenticated by the Publisher and the Bibliothèque du Château.
Binding – The binding of the facsimile faithfully reproduces the original binding, with the addition of two putti on the back board, lost in the original manuscript.
Commentary – Commentary volume in Italian, size 21 x 15 cm, 175 pages, colour plates. Essays by Pier Luigi Mulas, Monica Visioli, Marco Collareta, Jean-Baptiste Lebigue. ISBN 978-88-570-0090-9.
Slipcase – The facsimile and the commentary volume are issued in a double compartment slipcase.

Copyright photos: Illuminated Facsimiles, Franco Cosimo Panini Editore

About The Author

Franco Cosimo Panini Editore