Madrid, Biblioteca Nacional de España, ms. Vit. 25-3

Book of Hours of the Altarpieces Facsimile Edition

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Also known as the Missal of Fernandez de Cordoba, this codex is a magnificent example of a Book of Hours, compiled in the Roman tradition.

Books of Hours, and prayer books in general, fell under such suspicion that they ended up being banned by the Inquisition. This edition is a paradigmatic case: the codex, at the time property of a Lady called Teresa, was censored and thus appears expurgated, precisely in one of the most popular prayers to Mary.

The scored-out text is a historical document that bears irrefutable witness to the dangers inherent in dogmatism and intolerance. Such testimonial proof would be worthy of publication in itself, but this volume is also a work of art. It is made of the finest vellum and highly refined pigments, its traditional techniques are excellent and its decoration and illustrations are exquisite.

The manuscript is, in its very making, a clear exponent of the finest international style of the 15th century. The originality of the miniatures in the form of altarpieces is a special feature of this book, which contains hundreds of ornamental designs within the pages of text, such as butterflies, birds, dragons, putti and the like.

Binding description

Repoussé leather on board, inlaid with gold and cobalt.

We have 1 facsimile edition of the manuscript "Book of Hours of the Altarpieces": Libro de Horas de los Retablos facsimile edition, published by Millennium Liber, 2005

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Manuscript book description compiled by the publisher.

Libro de Horas de los Retablos

Madrid: Millennium Liber, 2005

  • Commentary (Spanish) by Ruiz GarcÌa, Elisa; Abad, Julian M.
  • Limited Edition: 550 copies
  • Full-size color reproduction of the entire original document, Book of Hours of the Altarpieces: the facsimile attempts to replicate the look-and-feel and physical features of the original document; pages are trimmed according to the original format; the binding might not be consistent with the current document binding.

The facsimile is printed on treated and aged parchment-like paper. Folded and sewn in the traditional style using vegetable thread. Historical, artistic and paleographical study volume. Facsimile and commentary presented in a stylish case.

Distributed in Italy by Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte.


Repoussé leather on board, with gold and cobalt inlays.

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