The weaving Virgin
The codex, perfectly preserved, owes its name to the illumination on f. 91 that represents the Virgin sitting on the loom. Gothic script characterizes this codex and all sheets are decorated with wide frames on the borders. The 15 full-page miniatures visually divide the parts that usually composed prayer books. According to the in-depth study by Elisa Ruiz García and the scientific comment by François Avril, this codex was realized in a Parisian workshop around mid-1400, in the golden period of the French-Flemish illumination.
This manuscript is made with the finest vellum and highly refined pigments, using an excellent traditional technique, and it is exquisitely decorated and illustrated. The lack of over-ornamentation in the margins, the serene beauty of the miniatures and the elegance of all the little details make this manuscript a perfect example of the French style at that time.
Along with the standard parts usually found in Books of Hours, such as the calendar, the officium parvum of the Virgin Mary, Penitential psalms, the Office of the Dead and intercessions, this example contains also the canonical Obsecro te and O intemerata, the Hours of the Cross, the Hours of the Holy Spirit and a representative collection of intercessions.
According to the traditions established in this world of pious practices, what is represented here follows the Roman style. The traditional stylistic features would keep in step with the new influences appearing in these cultural records, and this manuscript represents the pinnacle of literary technique due to its classical perfection.
The Lázaro Galdiano Foundation
The manuscript is held in the prestigious Foundation in Madrid, named after Lázaro Galdiano, famous scholar and collector, in 1947. The library is one of the richest in Spain and stands out for its medieval codices and for the huge amount of documents and works concerning Iberian literature.
The manuscript is in perfect state: this witnesses not only the extreme accuracy the collector used in choosing pieces of art, but also the extraordinary care he always required for his masterpieces.