A Miniature Hand-Illustrated Book from the 16th Century

From now till September 14, visit The Morgan Library & Museum in New York to see magnificent, miniature works of art. In Europe, back in the 16th-century, smaller was considered better, especially when it came to hand-illustrated books. The Prayer Book of Claude de France is a tiny, jewel-like manuscript created around 1517, the year Claude (1499-1524) was crowned the queen of France. The richly illustrated book holds 132 scenes from the lives of Christ, the Virgin Mary and many different saints. As you can see from the photo above, the book is tiny, measuring just 2 -by-2-inches.

The artist behind the book remains anonymous but was nicknamed Master of Claude de France after her created this book and a companion, Book of Hours. His style was characterized as the pinnacle of elegance. The colors were applied so delicately, it’s been said that he used “tiny, almost invisible brushstrokes.”

The Prayer Book of Claude de France is the centerpiece of the exhibition, Miracles in Miniature: The Art of the Master of Claude de France. For the first time in 500 years, Claude’s Prayer Book reunites with her Book of Hours. Nearly two dozen items of Claude Master’s work will be featured in this must-visit exhibition.


The Morgan Library & Museum website

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