Black Hours of Galeazzo Maria Sforza

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The four evangelists and the beginning of the Gospel of John

The Black Hours of Galeazzo Maria Sforza is an illuminated book of hours which used to be the property of Galeazzo Maria Sforza. Its name derives from its unusual black borders, also found in the New York Black Hours. It follows the Roman liturgy and was produced in Bruges around 1466–76. It measures 25 by 18 centimetres (9.8 by 7.1 in), has 154 folios and includes 14 main miniatures as well as figurative and ornamental initials and borders with medallions. The illuminations of the book are entirely attributed to the anonymous Master of Anthony of Burgundy.

According to the historian Antoine de Schryver, this manuscript was commissioned by Charles the Bold, duke of Burgundy, and is mentioned in the archives of the duke and decorated by the French illuminator Philippe de Mazerolles. This hypothesis is criticized by other historians of art, who consider the Black Hours of Charles the Bold to be a lost manuscript, a fragments of which are now in the Louvre (MI1091) and the Bibliothèque nationale de France (NAL149).[1]

The manuscript is currently housed in the Austrian National Library in Vienna (Codex Vindobo 1856).


  • Ulrike Jenni und Dagmar Thoss, Das Schwartze Gebetbuch. Codex 1856 der Österreichische Nationalbibliothek in Wien (Faksimile), Frankfurt am Main, Insel-Verlag, 1982
  • Ulrike Jenni und Dagmar Thoss: Das Schwarze Gebetbuch. Codex 1856. Kommentar zur Faksimile-Ausgabe, Frankfurt am Main 1982.
  • Antoine van Schryver: Gebetbuch Karls des Kühnen vel potius Stundenbuch der Maria von Burgund. Codex Vindobonensis 1857 der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek. 2 Bände. Faksimile. Akademische Druck- und Verlags-Anstalt, Graz 1969 (Codices selecti 14).

External links[edit]


  1. ^ (French) Bernard Bousmanne et Thierry Delcourt (dir.), Miniatures flamandes, Bibliothèque nationale de France/Bibliothèque royale de Belgique, 2012, 464 p. (ISBN 9782717724998), p. 332-333