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The Sforza Hours

MASTERPIECE OF THE RENAISSANCE
Beautiful images from the Sforza Hours

The Sforza Hours is one of the finest surviving Renaissance manuscripts. It is a Book of Hours - a volume, designed for private use by a private person, containing the prayers and offices to be said at the eight times of the day allotted by the church to prayer

Giovan Pietro Birago, Bona Sforza's miniaturist, had completed and delivered part of the book when a substantial part of the remainder was stolen, never to be returned. Thirty years later, between 1517 and 1520, Margaret of Austria commissioned Gerard Horenbout to paint 16 additional miniatures to fill the gaps caused by the theft and to complement Birago's work.

Copyright © The British Library Board


The Sforza Hours
The Sforza Hours
Birago, St John



This is the first page of the manuscript. The illustration precedes pages from St John's Gospel. The Evangelist sits on a rocky island, representing the isle of Patmos. This is where St John was exiled in AD 95, after being persecuted by the Roman emperor Domitian, and where he had his 'Revelation'.


 Birago, St Anthony
Birago, St Anthony
The Sforza Hours



Horenbout, St Mark
Horenbout, St Mark
The Sforza Hours


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The Sforza Hours - Pages 1 and 2
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