Hours of Gian Galeazzo Visconti

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The Hours of Giangaleazzo Visconti is a Roman-liturgy illuminated Book of Hours that was commissioned by the ruler of Milan, Gian Galeazzo Visconti, in Italy in the late 14th century.[1] A Book of Hours is a personal prayer book that contained, in part, the Hours of the Virgin, a daily devotional that was popular at the time. This particular Book of Hours was created by two master illuminators, beginning with Giovannino dei Grassi before his death, and completed by Belbello da Pavia.[2]

The Visconti Hours is a classic example of the personal prayer books of the period, which were generally made for wealthy lay persons. It is composed of iron gall inks, various pigment — including the expensive and rare lapis lazuli blue — mixed with gum arabic, and three kinds of gold — including gold emulsion and burnished gold leaf — on vellum. The text is a Gothic minuscule font that is also known as blackletter calligraphy.[3]

It wasn't finished until after Gian's (and the dei Grassi's) death. It is now in the Biblioteca Nazionale in Florence.



  1. ^ Hamel, Christopher De (1997). A history of illuminated manuscripts (2nd ed, rev and enlarged. ed.). London: Phaidon Press. ISBN 978-0714834528. 
  2. ^ Ingo F. Walther; Norbert Wolf (2005). Codices illustres : the world's most famous illuminated manuscripts 400-1600 (25th anniversary ed.). Köln: Taschen. ISBN 978-3822847503. 
  3. ^ Millard Meiss; Edith W Kirsch (1972). The Visconti hours : National library, Florence. New York: George Braziller. ISBN 978-0807606513.