Book of Hours

Office of the Dead

Texts and Images

The Office of the Dead, recited while mourning the dead body at home and during the service in church before the burial, was also a text for private devotion. Here, it follows the liturgical use of Rome, offering no clues as to the manuscript’s origin or provenance. It opens with a large miniature of the Three Living and the Three Dead within an architectural border.

This page was illuminated by the Painter of Additional 15677. The image of the Three Living and the Three Dead was a favourite illustration for the Office of the Dead in Books of Hours. The skulls in the niches of the architectural border and the corpse in the foreground harmonise with the main theme. One of the three living, the rider in scarlet robes, may represent the Cardinal for whom this manuscript was made.