Torriani Book of Hours

Chantilly, Bibliothèque du Château, Ms. 83


+39 333 9860 410

Illuminated Facsimiles

Torriani Book of Hours

Chantilly, Bibliothèque du Château, Ms. 83

Alternative titles
Libro d’Ore Torriani – Libro de Horas Torriani – Torriani-Stundenbuch – Livre d’Heures Torriani.
Physical features
Codex on parchment, dimensions 73 x 57 mm, 143 folios (286 pages).
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 is depicted 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.
Italy (Milan), late 15th century (ca. 1495).
Before 2000, the codex was known as Morosini Book of Hours, due to a misinterpretation of the coat of arms on f. 1r, 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 an ownership note on f. 141 -, 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).
ChristianityPrivate devotional books.
Book of Hours, use of Rome: Calendar (ff. 2r-16v); Hours of the Virgin (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).
Black letter.
The decorative apparatus includes the 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) and 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 decoration also includes borders with plant and animal motifs, numerous two-line 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.
The illuminations of the Torriani Book of Hours have been attributed to Matteo da Milano and Giovanni Ambrogio De Predis (b. 1455, d. 1509).
Italian Renaissance.

Data sheet: Illuminated Facsimiles®



Il Libro d’Ore Torriani

Publisher – Franco 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. The Publisher guarantees that no further additional copies.
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 – 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. Nota dell’Editore; La miniatura lombarda nell’ultimo quarto del Quattrocento (Pier Luigi Mulas); L’iconografia dei mesi nei calendari lombardi del Quattrocento (Monica Visioli); La legatura delle Ore Torriani (Marco Collareta); Analisi testuale delle Ore Torriani (Jean-Baptiste Lebigue); Scheda codicologica e descrizione delle miniature (Pier Luigi Mulas); Bibliografia.
Slipcase – The facsimile and the commentary volume are issued in a double compartment slipcase.
Certificate of authenticity – The certificate with the copy number is printed on the colophon of the facsimile. It is authenticated by the Publisher and the Bibliothèque du Château.
ISBN – 978-88-570-0090-9 (commentary).

Copyright photos: Illuminated Facsimiles®, Franco Cosimo Panini Editore

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Franco Cosimo Panini Editore