FEATURES – Codex on parchment, 82 x 65 mm, 288 pp. The manuscript still maintains its original binding, which in itself represents an exceptional fact due to its rarity. The upper and lower covers are decorated with 3 frames with plant motifs, inserted one into the other, and with ivory and mother-of-pearl cameos: Saint Catherine on the upper cover and Saint Lucy on the lower cover, both surrounded by 4 cherubs. The internal binding covers are decorated with 14 painted enamels: the busts of the 12 apostles, with the Kiss of Judas on the second internal cover and the Procession to Calvary on the third internal cover.
ORIGIN – Italy: Milan.
CHRONOLOGY – Late 15th century: 1495 ca.
PATRONAGE AND OWNERS – Before 2000, due to an incorrect interpretation of the coat of arms at f.1r, the codex was attributed to the Venetian Morosini family and therefore known as Morosini Book of Hours. Today the same coat of arms is linked to the Torriani (or Della Torre), a powerful Lombard family who held the Duchy of Milan before being ousted by the Visconti. The Torriani coat of arms was added after the production of the manuscript (in the Sforza period), but it is now widely accepted by most scholars that the first owner was a noblewoman of that family. Successive owners of the codex were M. Jacobsen de La Crosnière (as can be seen from a note of possession in f. 141) and the bibliophile Armand Cigongne. In 1861 Henri d’Orléans, Duke of Aumale (1822-1897), bought the manuscript and in 1871 brought it to Chantilly.
GENRE – Christianity; Private devotional books.
CONTENTS – Calendar (ff. 2-19), Office of the Virgin (ff. 20-99), Penitential Psalms and Litany of the Saints (ff. 100-119), Office of the Cross (ff. 120-133), Office of the Holy Spirit (ff. 134-138), Prayers of Saint Gregory (ff. 139-144).
LANGUAGE – Latin.
SCRIPT – Rotunda blackletter.
DECORATION – 12 miniatures at the edges of the calendar, 12 historiated initials, 6 full-page miniatures (Nativity, David and Goliath, Flagellation, Crucifixion, Resurrection, Entombment), decorative borders composed of floral and foliate designs and animal figures. The corpus of illustrations confirms the link between the manuscript and the city of Milan: some Milanese saints are depicted in the calendar; in the month of November (f. 13v) is represented the Basilica Vetus (Cathedral of Saint Mary Major) with the statue of the patron Saint Ambrose; the symbol of the Duchy of Milan is inserted in an decorated initial on f. 41r.
ARTIST – Matteo da Milano, Giovanni Ambrogio De Predis (1455-1509).
STYLE – Renaissance.
Data sheet: Illuminated Facsimiles