The Book of Hours of Lorenzo de Medici is a remarkable manuscript preserved at the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana in Florence. The small and lavish codex is comparable to a jewel because of the preciousness of the stones that decorate the binding and the elegant illuminations attributed to Francesco Rosselli.
The Book of Hours of Lorenzo de' Medici: A Jewel Book for Women
A little larger than a postcard, the manuscript measures 10 x 15 cm. Antonio Sinibaldi wrote this Book of Hours in littera antiqua, signed the work and dated it to the year 1485 (fol. 104v).
The manuscript has a prestigious history. It is probable that Lorenzo de’ Medici donated this devotional book to one of his daughters in occasion of her marriage. The manuscript belongs to the group of manuscripts described as 'libriccini delli offitii di donna', meaning the tiny Book of Hours for women’s offices, as cited in the inventory written in 1492 following the death of Lorenzo de’ Medici.
The Book of Hours is embellished with a modern treasure binding in purple velvet, decorated with lapis lazuli and rose quartzes.
The Illuminations of the Book of Hours of Lorenzo de’ Medici
The fine and well-prepared parchment of the codex is decorated on each page with different kinds of ornament including full-page miniatures, decorated letters, and marginalia.
Nine full-page miniatures introduce the main sections of the Hours. The illuminations have been attributed to Francesco Rosselli, engraver, illuminator, cartographer and painter, a relevant figure of the Florentine artistic environment of the fifteenth century.
Probably an assistant was at work on this elegant book, and he was responsible of the rich marginal decoration featuring medallions with narrative scenes.
Nineteenth-century violet velvet binding, with gilded silver filigree work bosses and ferrules. The covers also display a large lapis lazuli and four rose quartzes.
We have 1 facsimile edition of the manuscript "Book of Hours of Lorenzo de' Medici ": Libro d'Ore di Lorenzo de Medici facsimile edition, published by Franco Cosimo Panini Editore, 2005