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Book/Printed Material Trivulzio Book of Hours.

About this Item


  • Trivulzio Book of Hours.


  • The Trivulzio Book of Hours is one of the most important, and certainly the most costly, gifts ever presented to a Dutch cultural institution. Given in 2001 by a donor who wished to remain anonymous, the manuscript represents the return of a spectacular item of cultural heritage that had been presumed destroyed. The manuscript formerly belonged to the collection of the princes of Trivulzio in Milan, but by the early 20th century its whereabouts were no longer known. The manuscript was made in about 1470 in Flanders, probably in Bruges and Ghent, by several masters, each of whom supplied miniatures to the rich program of illumination: Lievin van Lathem from Antwerp, Simon Marmion from Valenciennes, and an illuminator from Ghent known as the Master of Mary of Burgundy. The latter's portrait of Mary of Burgundy is at page 96. As a final step in painting this miniature, the artist laid on extremely delicate gold highlights, probably using a brush with only two or three bristles. The radiance around the dove is so fine as to be almost ethereal. The borders in this manuscript enliven the religious scenes and delight the viewer. At the side margin, for example, the artist has depicted, with careful mimetic exactitude, a rare hoopoe bird. Even today this bird is said to portend rain, although in the image it seems to portend the Holy Spirit. In the lower-right margin, the miniaturist has depicted a harpy, a rapacious monster with the head of a woman, the claws of a lion, and the wings of a bird of prey. While this figure illustrates the theme of the power and danger of women, it also presents a word play: the harpy plays a harp. Further representing female power is the figure group at the lower left. This woman who plays the fiddle and rides her man may be Phyllis, who is said to have ridden the great teacher Aristotle like a horse.


  • Lathem, Lievin van, active 1435-1493 Illuminator.
  • Marmion, Simon, 1420-148 Illuminator.
  • Master of Mary of Burgundy, active 1475-1490 Illuminator.
  • Spierinck, Nicolas, active 1455-1499 Scribe.

Created / Published

  • [place of publication not identified] : [publisher not identified], 1470.


  • -  Belgium--Flanders
  • -  1470
  • -  Books of hours
  • -  Illuminations
  • -  Liturgies
  • -  Miniatures (Illuminations)
  • -  Prayers
  • -  Psalms


  • -  Title devised, in English, by Library staff.
  • -  Original resource extent: 382 folios ; approximately 130 x 90 millimeters.
  • -  Original resource at: National Library of the Netherlands.
  • -  Content in Latin.
  • -  Description based on data extracted from World Digital Library, which may be extracted from partner institutions.


  • 1 online resource.

Source Collection

  • Illuminated Manuscripts from Europe

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2021668061

Online Format

  • compressed data
  • pdf
  • image

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

Rights & Access

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Credit Line: [Original Source citation], World Digital Library

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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Lathem, Lievin Van, Active Illuminator, Simon Marmion, Active Illuminator Master Of Mary Of Burgundy, and Nicolas Spierinck. Trivulzio Book of Hours. [Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified, 1470] Pdf.

APA citation style:

Lathem, L. V., Marmion, S., Master Of Mary Of Burgundy, A. I. & Spierinck, N. (1470) Trivulzio Book of Hours. [Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified] [Pdf] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Lathem, Lievin Van, Active Illuminator, et al. Trivulzio Book of Hours. [Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified, 1470] Pdf. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.