The Hours of Philip the Bold

Master of the Coronation Book of Charles V


This artist, active in Paris c. 1355-1380, was among Charles V’s favourite illuminators. He is named after his masterpiece, the Coronation Book commissioned in 1365 by the recently crowned king (London, BL, Cotton MS Tiberius B VIII). The Master of the Coronation Book of Charles V painted eighteen small miniatures in the Grandes Heures. Two of them (fols. 213r, 249v) are in quires 27 and 35 which also contain small miniatures by the Master of the Grandes Heures. Yet, the style, palette and painting techniques of the two artists differ considerably even when they collaborate within the same quire or on the same bifolio.

The Master of the Coronation Book of Charles V, who was responsible for this miniature, painted numerous images of King Charles V of France and members of his family. Here, Charles’ brother, Philip the Bold, is shown kneeling in prayer, with an open book – perhaps this very manuscript –beside him. Another open book – a Missal – rests beside the chalice on the altar before which Philip, the priest and acolyte kneel. The rubric above the image stipulates that the prayer written on this page is to be said between the beginning of the Mass and the first prayer of the Mass.

The facial types and the bold juxtaposition of contrasting opaque colours are typical of this artist.