Lecture by Roger S. Wieck
This seminar focuses on the Book of Hours—the medieval “bestseller”—popular for three hundred years, from the mid-thirteenth to the mid-sixteenth century. The course will consider both the textual and pictorial contents of horae. Textual concerns include the range and variety of prayers within the typical manuscript. Students will learn how to determine a book’s usage, including the localization of its calendar. Because the Book of Hours is also important for the history of art, variations in artistic styles will also be a major concern (concentrating on French and Flemish illumination from the late fourteenth to the early sixteenth centuries). The phenomenon of printed horaewill also be introduced.
The course will consist of lectures, discussions, and hands-on classroom exercises. We will use facsimiles, slides, electronic resources, and original manuscripts from the Morgan’s rich holdings. Students will be expected to make a presentation.
Some knowledge of Latin and the ability to read Gothic script are helpful but not required. Previous RBS courses on manuscripts are also helpful but not required.