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This book of hours commissioned for Charles, Count of Angoulême (the father of Francis I of France) is undeniably Robinet Testard’s most personal work. Testard, one of France’s most creative painters, drew upon his boundless imagination to create a totally novel work. The calendar scenes on the opening pages are surprisingly original. Testard also portrays exotic landscapes, botanical elements, an acrostic featuring animated figures more typical of alphabet books, and even combines mythology and religion in rather peculiar ways. Testard’s compositions in the Passion cycle are inspired by engraving techniques, and the intense, vivid colours in his paintings bring the scenes alive. And if this manuscript defying prevailing trends was still not original enough, it even features a miniature by Bourdichon (none other than the master of the Great Hours of Anne of Brittany!).

The Hours of Charles of Angoulême

"Unique and unrepeatable first edition, strictly limited to 987 numbered and authenticated copies"

Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris

PDF Catalogues
Shelf mark: Latin 1173
Date: c. 1485
Provenance: France
Size: ± 215 x 155 mm
Artist: Robinet Testard
230 pages, 38 full-page miniatures
Red leather binding with gilt border
Full-colour commentary volume by Maxence Hermant and Séverine Lepape (BnF)
Unique and unrepeatable first edition strictly limited to 987 numbered and authenticated copies.
 
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