A single manuscript leaf depicting The Nativity on one side, and text on the other, from the Hours of Henry VII.

The Hours was originally richly decorated with over 20 full page miniatures. These are exceptionally large, and have painted frames similar to panel paintings. The artist worked in Tours during the late fifteenth century and was official court painter, succeeding Jean Fouquet. Although documented as a panel painter, designer of coins, stained glass and silver and gold plate, he is best known as a manuscript illuminator. The Nativity is thought to be the finest of the identified leaves from the Hours of Henry VII.


Henry VII of England; in England by late 17th century; Dr Alan Stevenson; Dr Christopher Kempster circa 1940; Sam Fogg Ltd.

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