I finally got my scanner working and so now I can at last display the wonderful art and art books I've been reading and collecting. This will be a new series of mine- so get ready- if you love art in history, I've got plenty of goodies for you!
Today, I'll begin my series with This precious little book that was given to me as a gift from my good friend Marie, over at the Burton Review. I was so delighted to receive The Hastings Hours, by Janet Backhouse, especially because it depicts the miniatures found in the devotionals of Hours to the Virgin Mary- but because it also represents the last form of medeival art. This illuminated book does not contain the essential components of the Hastings hours per se, meaning the prayers, what it does contain though, are the exquisitely painted miniatures representing the saints or Biblical episodes as venerated back then.
These types of illuminated manuscripts used to be big business back in the Middle Ages- and the Hastings Hours contains some of the earliest forms to be found. Although the artist is unknown, the same technique and hand is used, leading scholars to agree that it may have been the work of one sole artist for this particular manuscript.
It's believed that William Hastings-( you remember him back from the days of Edward IV, the King's good friend who also happened to marry a Neville; sister of the Kingmaker)..anyhow...throughout this book there are distinct signs that show that this book did indeed belong to his house. The Hastings Arms appears in many of the miniatures, signifying some belonging to the name. In regards to the saints painted on several of the pages, these too would suggest personal meaning and importance to Hastings himself, as well.
Hastings' widow, Lady Katherine had the manuscript in her will -but from then on it would seem to have disappeared- up until 1910, when it resurfaced. Since 1969 it is now part of the British Museum's Department of Manuscripts.
I absolutely loved this precious art work! A little over 5 x 7, and a mere 63 pages. This gem is filled to the gill with breath-taking art. Religious artifacts, icons and illuminated books have always fascinated me and I search them out in all history nooks whenever I can- so of course this book thrilled me! Thanks so much Marie- you just knew I'd love this!
I leave you with some breath-taking miniatures for you to enjoy...
The Annunciation (the right page is slightly cropped, but if you look carefully you can see a bit of the Hastings Arms on the side in black).
Presentation of Christ at the Temple
Here, you can see the Hastings arms (which appears on several miniatures in the book)
St. Sitha - and- St. Sitha's Memorial
Stay tuned for more on special Art Books...I have a very special treat on Palaces!!- another gift from a dear friend, Arleigh.
The Hastings Hours is my first entry for The Art History Reading Challenge.this year.