The Hours of Isabella Stuart

Penitential Psalms and scenes from the Pilgrimage of the Human Life

Texts and Images

The seven Penitential Psalms (6, 31, 37, 50, 101, 129, 142) were recited as prayers of contrition. The first of them opens with a large miniature of the Trinity. Every page has a marginal miniature from the cycle illustrating the French poem Pilgrimage of the Human Life.

The dove of the Holy Spirit hovers between the Father and the Son who appear to be merged into a single body and to be sharing the same garment, but are clearly distinguished by their facial features. This pictorial treatment emphasises the triune nature of the Trinity’s persons – an emphasis also present in the miniature on fol. 136v. The marginal scene illustrates the Pilgrimage of the Human Life cycle. The arms of Isabella Stuart have been added to the border.