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Document Details :
Title: Mary of Guelders and her Book
Subtitle: Prolegomena to the Study of a Remarkable Manuscript
Author(s): VAN DER LAAN, Joanka
Journal: Ons Geestelijk Erf
Volume: 86 Issue: 3 Date: 2015
This article discusses the early fifteenth century prayer book commissioned and owned by duchess Mary of Guelders. This book – which is now divided into two manuscripts, one in Berlin (Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, MS Germ. qu. 42) and one in Vienna (Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Cod. 1908) – has been known in (art historical) scholarship for more than 150 years. However, this research has been limited to examination of the place of the decoration of the book within the development of manuscript illumination of the Lower-Rhine region and the Netherlands more generally. This publication seeks to provide discussion of current arthistorical and textual aspects of the book and examine the prayer book in its context, which makes clear that the book was adapted to the specific tastes and preferences of the duchess of Guelders and that different cultural influences can be detected. Analysis of the book within this context opens up many lines of enquiry, which promise to reveal more insight into not only the artistic richness of the region, but also the devotional possibilities of a noble laywoman in the early fifteenth century.