BETHUNE

BETHUNE



Missel de Bethune

Bethune Book of Hours

Southern Flanders
Circa 1460
107 Folia

The work of a single scribe, the Bethune Breviary-Missal contains services for the first half of the ecclesiastical year (winter-spring). Most probably having its provenance in the Benedictine Abbey of St. Peter's Oudenburg, a village three miles from Bruges, the Breviary-Missal includes two gold bordered illuminations:

"These manuscripts belonged to my father's uncle, Monsignor Felix Bethune (1824-1909)," Ade Bethune later wrote. "My father, Gaston S. de Bethune (1877-1966), inherited them at Uncle Felix's death...I shall now be able to write [my sister] Francoise and announce to her that the Bethune Manuscripts are treasured in good home and that she will be able to share the satisfaction of having become a benefactor in memory of Uncle Felix, whose stories and artistic treasures enchanted our childhood."

In accepting the manuscripts, Dr. Julian Plante, then director of the Hill Monastic Manuscript Library, wrote, "I can say that the Missal-Breviary and the Book of Hours stand above our other manuscripts in artistic merit and the [former] as an important witness to Benedictine liturgical practice."

Though based primarily on the office chanted by monks and nuns, the Book of Hours served the spiritual needs of pious lay men and women, who frequently commissioned scribes and artists to prepare such prayer books suited to their individual tastes and pocketbooks. Scribes produced these books in a wide range of style and elegance, with some quite simple, and others quite elegant.

Nine of the thirteen illuminated pages in the Bethune Book of Hours remain. (Folia containing illuminations for the hours of None, Vespers, and Compline of the Hours of the Virgin have been excised.)





Bethune 1 - Folio 103
Bethune 1 - Folio 103.gif
Bethune 1 - Folio 17l - The Crucifixion - Office of the Holy Cross
Bethune 1 - Folio 17l - The Crucifixion - Office of the Holy Cross.jpg
Bethune 1 - Folio 20l - The Descent of the Holy Spirit - Office of the Holy Spirit
Bethune 1 - Folio 20l - The Descent of the Holy Spirit - Office of the Holy Spirit.jpg
Bethune 1 - Folio 23l - The Annunciation - Office of the Virgin, Matins
Bethune 1 - Folio 23l - The Annunciation - Office of the Virgin, Matins.jpg
Bethune 1 - Folio 32l - The Visitation - Office of the Virgin, Lauds
Bethune 1 - Folio 32l - The Visitation - Office of the Virgin, Lauds.jpg
Bethune 1 - Folio 41l - Nativity of Jesus - Office of the Virgin, Prime
Bethune 1 - Folio 41l - Nativity of Jesus - Office of the Virgin, Prime.jpg
Bethune 1 - Folio 46l
Bethune 1 - Folio 46l.jpg
Bethune 1 - Folio 49 - The Adoration of the Magi - Office of the Virgin, Sext
Bethune 1 - Folio 49 - The Adoration of the Magi - Office of the Virgin, Sext.gif
Bethune 1 - Folio 49l - The Adoration of the Magi - Office of the Virgin, Sext
Bethune 1 - Folio 49l - The Adoration of the Magi - Office of the Virgin, Sext.jpg
Bethune 1 - Folio 87l - Recitation of the Office of the Dead
Bethune 1 - Folio 87l - Recitation of the Office of the Dead.jpg
Bethune 2 - Folio 345 - Annunciation
Bethune 2 - Folio 345 - Annunciation.jpg

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