The Hours of Isabella Stuart

Yolande of Aragon


Yolande of Aragon (1381-1442), Dowager Duchess of Anjou, most probably commissioned the manuscript for herself or for her daughter, Yolande of Anjou, while arranging her marriage to the future Duke of Brittany, which took place in 1431.

As heiress of King John I of Aragon and widow of Louis II, Duke of Anjou and King of Naples, Sicily and Jerusalem, Yolande of Aragon was known as the Queen of the Four Kingdoms. She played a major role in European politics during the Hundred Years War. Between her husband’s death in 1417 and the mid-1420s, she was busy protecting her territories in Anjou, Maine, Barrois and Provence, supporting her sons’ campaigns in Italy, negotiating politically advantageous marriages for her children, and advising the future Charles VII of France who married her eldest daughter in 1422. Yolande turned her attention to art patronage from c. 1425 onwards, when she financed the stained glass windows at the Cathedral in Le Mans, completed in the early 1430s. This Book of Hours was most probably produced during the same period. A learned patron of art and literature, Yolande was also a devout woman of strong Franciscan spirituality. She is shown praying in three small miniatures in the manuscript.