Book of Hours of the Altarpieces

Madrid, Biblioteca Nacional de España, Ms. Vit. 25-3


+39 333 9860 410

Illuminated Facsimiles

Book of Hours of the Altarpieces

Madrid, Biblioteca Nacional de España, Ms. Vit. 25-3

Alternative titles
Missal of Fernandez de Cordoba – Madrid Hours – Libro de Horas de los Retablos – Misal de Alonso Fernández de Córdoba – Llibre d’Hores dels Retaules – Stundenbuch Der Altaraufsätze – Libro d’Ore delle Pale d’Altare.
Physical features
Codex on parchment, dimensions 230 x 160 mm, 195 folios (that is 390 pages).
Leather-covered boards, with blind, gold and cobalt tooling.
France (Tours), 15th century.
Unfortunately, there is no certain information about the patronage of this manuscript. On folio 175r, the woman depicted praying in the company of two other ladies and in the presence of a choir of angels, is likely to be the commissioner or recipient of the manuscript.
Subsequent owners
A note of possession on the recto of the third flyleaf bears the name of the nobleman and diplomat Señor don Alonso Fernandez de Córdoba, who was the owner of the manuscript at the end of the 16th century. In a note on folio 194r, dated 1 November 1573, a friar named Lorenço de Fresno writes that he inspected the manuscript and returned it to its owner – a certain Dona Teresa, probably the wife and heir of don Alonso Fernandez. Before returning it, however, the friar had deleted 5 lines of text from the prayer Obsecro Te on folio 179r, so that this intervention is in itself an interesting testimony of the censorship that was carried out by the Spanish Inquisition.
Present repository
The codex has been part of the holdings of the Biblioteca Nacional de España in Madrid since 1870. It is currently preserved under the shelfmark MS Vit. 25-3.
ChristianityPrivate devotional books.
Book of Hours according to Roman usage, with Calendar, Office of the Virgin, Office of the Cross, Office of the Holy Spirit, Office of the Dead, various prayers.
Gothic textura quadrata.
48 vignette miniatures decorating the calendar, 20 full-page miniatures, decorated initials, borders throughout richly decorated with floral motifs, animals and anthropomorphic figures.
Master of the Madrid Hours; Master of Jeanne de France.

Data sheet: Illuminated Facsimiles®



Libro de Horas de los Retablos

Publisher – Millennium Liber (Madrid, 2005), by concession of the Biblioteca Nacional de España.
International distributors – The facsimile was distributed in Italy by Il Bulino.
Limited edition – Single limited edition of 550 copies, numbered and notarised.
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.
Material – Special aged like-parchment paper.
Binding – The binding might not correspond to that of the original document as it appears at the present moment. Trimming and composition of the leaves reproduce the profile and structure of the original manuscript.
Commentary – Historical, artistic and palaeographic study volume in Spanish, abstract in Italian. Essays by Elisa Ruiz Garcìa Elisa and Julian M. Abad.
Slipcase – The facsimile and the commentary volume are housed in a velvet-lined slipcase.
Certificate of authenticity – The notarised certificate with the copy number is attached to the colophon of the facsimile.
ISBN – 978-84-93251-66-6.

Copyright photos: Millennium Liber

About The Author

Millennium Liber