1media/Marginal Figures_thumb.jpg2020-10-18T19:22:11-07:00Phillip Mendenhall29987f6a963c90490444ef4c524e09d2090fa1ba380982Facsimile of the Hours of Jeanne d'Evreux, fol. 87rplain2020-10-26T11:56:14-07:00New YorkAcc. No. 54.1.287rJasmin BrownUniversity Library System, University of PittsburghFaksimile Verlag, Luzern (Switzerland)1998-2000The Met CloistersHours of Jeanne d’Evreux1324-1328Phillip Mendenhall29987f6a963c90490444ef4c524e09d2090fa1ba
This precious book of hours was possibly a gift for Jeanne d’Evreux, Queen of France, to celebrate her marriage to King Charles IV. The delicate monochromatic gray or ‘grisaille’ decorations by the artist Jean Pucelle seem uniquely adapted to the intimate scale of the manuscript, measuring barely four inches in height. In the opening page of the central cycle of prayers to the Virgin Mary, Jeanne herself appears inside the first initial, holding up a book-within-the-book as if to perpetuate her act of prayer even when the pages are closed. Above her head the angel Gabriel announces the miraculous pregnancy of Mary, but down below courtly figures engage in a mischievous game. This playfulness extends across the book, as marginal figures emerge from the text in exaggerated pantomimes of movement on every page, no two exactly alike. Perhaps these droll scenes helped keep the queen’s attention from wandering as she performed her daily prayers.