The Hours of Jeanne d'Evreux, Queen of France

Jean Pucelle (French, active Paris, 1319–34)

ca. 1324–28
Made in Paris
Grisaille, tempera, and ink on vellum
single folio: 3 5/8 x 2 7/16 in. (9.2 x 6.2 cm) Overall (with binding): 3 7/8 x 2 13/16 x 1 1/2 in. (9.9 x 7.2 x 3.8 cm)
Manuscripts and Illuminations
Credit Line:
The Cloisters Collection, 1954
Accession Number:
  • Description

    The 209 folios of "The Hours of Jeanne d'Évreux" include twenty-five full-page paintings with paired images from the Infancy and Passion of Christ and scenes of the life of Saint Louis. The figures are rendered in delicate grisaille (shades of gray) that imparts an amazingly sculptural quality, and the images are accented with rich reds and blues and with touches of orange and yellow, pink, lilac, and turquoise. In the margins, close to seven hundred illustrations depict the bishops, beggars, street dancers, maidens, and musicians that peopled the streets of medieval Paris, as well as apes, rabbits, dogs, and creatures of sheer fantasy. All are brought to life by the keen observation, accomplished draftsmanship, and consummate imagination of the artist.

    This lavishly illustrated prayer book (Book of Hours) was created between 1324 and 1328 for Jeanne d'Évreux, queen of France, by the celebrated Parisian illuminator Jean Pucelle (active ca. 1320–34) and was intended for use by the queen during private prayer throughout the course of the day. Upon her death in 1371, Jeanne d'Évreux left the prayer book to King Charles V. At his death, the book entered the collection of another much lauded bibliophile, his brother Jean, duc de Berry.

  • Provenance

    Jeanne d'Evreux, Queen of France (by 1328–d. 1371) ; bequeathed to Charles V, King of France (1371–d. 1380) ; bequeathed to Charles VI, King of France (from 1380) ; Jean, Duke of Berry d. 1416 (listed in inventories from 1401–d.1416) ; Louis-Jules de Châtelet and Christine de Gleseneuve , Bar, France (ca. 1618–before 1672) ; Adolphe Carl Rothschild , Château de Pregny, Geneva (until d. 1900) ; bequeathed to his wife, Caroline Julie Anselme Rothschild (1900–d. 1907) ; bequeathed to Maurice Edmond Charles Rothschild , Paris (1909–collection looted by Nazi officials January 1941) ; stored in Neuschwanstein Castle , Füssen, Germany (inventory no. R.1052) ; recovered in 1945 and restituted to Maurice Edmond Charles Rothschild , Château de Pregny, Geneva (1948–54) ; [ Rosenberg and Stiebel, Inc. , New York (sold 1954)]

  • See also