From the time when the great specialist in Flemish miniatures, Paul Durrieu, saw this manuscript in 1898 at an exhibition for the 4th centenary of the Discovery of America, it has been attributed to William Vrelant. Born in Utrecht, Vrelant set up his workshop in Bruges and was one of the greatest miniaturists of the 15th century.
A predominant feature in this manuscript is the use of perspective, clearly influenced by the Sienna school of the Trecento. Many figures are seen within architectural frameworks, a common feature of French miniatures of the time of the Duc de Berry. These backgrounds play an important part in the work and, whether landscapes or abstract compositions, are very elaborate. Their wealth of detail is characteristic of the best Flemish workshops: according to Professor Angulo, Flemish artists achieved a perfection virtually unsurpassed in the rendering of draperies, metals, jewels, glass, leather, etc.
Of the 3.487 miniatures (72 of them full-page) 59 illustrate the essential and secondary texts, which are arranged under 10 headings: the calendar, extracts from the four Gospels, Hours of the Holy Ghost, Mass of Our Lady, Hours of Our Lady, Hours of the Passion of Jesus Christ, Office for the Dead, Penitential Psalms, various prayers and Intercession of the Saints.
The other miniatures illustrate the large number of additional themes. We find an abundance of borders with traditional acanthus garlands, flowers, fruit, human figures, birds and small animals, as well as a large number of decorated capital letters (87 large, 181 medium and 2.964 small), with a variety of decorations including burnished gold. The Gothic lettering of the written text is in black and red ink.
We have 2 facsimiles of the manuscript "Book of Hours of Isabel the Catholic":
- Libro de Horas de Isabel la Católica (Mudejar Binding) facsimile edition published by Testimonio Compañía Editorial, 1991
- Libro de Horas de Isabel la Católica (Luxury Binding) facsimile edition published by Testimonio Compañía Editorial, 1991