The Hours of Philip the Bold

Canon of the Mass

Texts and Images

The Canon of the Mass received the only full-page miniature executed during the original campaign, the Throne of Mercy Trinity.

The three Persons of the Trinity are shown in a composition known as the Throne of Mercy. The artist responsible for this image is named after it. The miniature is framed within a quadrilobed mandorla, with the Evangelists’ symbols in the corners. The gold Crucifixion in the lower border was added for the priest to kiss while celebrating Mass. This is a very elaborate version of the ‘kissing cross’ often provided beneath Crucifixion miniatures to avoid the main image being smudged by devout lips.

The Master of the Throne of Mercy used a palette and painting technique comparable to those of the Jean de Sy Master and the Master of the Grandes Heures. However, there are several notable differences. The facial types and the minimal modelling of flesh differ from those of the other two artists. There is no stippling in the blue and violet robes. The underdrawing contributes little to the simulation of volume. He was the only artist to use vermilion for the shading of orange areas painted with red lead.