Ms Typ 5


Ms. Richardson 5, fol. 66v Book of Hours, Use of Sarum, England, ca. 1420

This relatively modest Book of Hours nonetheless presents a fascinating combination of features indicative of the cosmopolitan character of book production on both sides of the Channel in the early fifteenth century. Whereas the script, layout and minor decoration point to Franco-Flemish models, the miniatures are purely Flemish in character, reminiscent of miniatures of the "Gold Scrolls Group," associated primarily with Bruges, whence many Books of Hours were exported to England, and named for the characteristic decoration in the backgrounds, such as can be seen here surrounding the large halo of St. Jerome.

The foliate decoration sprouting from the miniature, in turn, is typically English. The cardinal, church father and translator of the Latin Vulgate bible is shown at his writing desk in a combination of exterior and interior views, holding a quill and a pen knife in his hands as he works on a long unfurled scroll. In a botched attempt to represent spatial recession, the black and white tiled floor is shaded towards to top in a form of atmospheric perspective. More successful is the artist's rendition of the simple plank boards fastened by nails that make up the wall of Jerome's modest chapel. Two codices, complete with clasps holding their bindings closed, sit on the shelves that fill the narrow wall besides him. The modest chapel should perhaps be construed as Jerome's hermitage and a reference to his interest in the anchoretic lifestyle of early monasticism, of which he was a champion.