Rare French manuscripts on view at Tehran exhibit

January 2, 2023 - 21:30

TEHRAN – Folios of a rare French prayer book, dating back to the 16th century, has been put on show at the library of the Niavaran Cultural Historical Complex in northern Tehran, CHTN reported on Monday.

“The Book of Hours of Louis of Orleans” is a masterpiece decorated by a French master, Jean Colombe and the staff of his studio for Louis Duke of Orleans, the later King Louis XII.

The artists were guided by the work of the painter Jean Bourdichons, one of the most influential French illuminators of the Middle Ages.

Alongside several elegant miniatures, the pages of the work are adorned with elaborately decorated bordures with floral decorations, and images of birds, exotic animals, and fantastical monsters.

Parts of the manuscript feature aphorisms, which capture the themes of the prayers and miniatures. Today, the splendid small codex is regarded as one of the most outstanding manuscripts to be produced during the French Renaissance. King Louis XII of France, a great lover and patron of the arts, signed the codex when he was still the Duke of Orleans.

Books of hours were probably the most popular book genre of the Middle Ages. The codices were made for prayer and private devotion and were especially widespread among the nobility.

Covering an area of about eleven hectares, Niavaran Cultural-Historical Complex is composed of several landmark buildings, museums, and monuments constructed in the 19th and 20th centuries during the Pahlavi and late Qajar eras. The history of the palace complex stretches back to about 280 years ago when Fath-Ali Shah of the Qajar Dynasty ordered a summer residence to be built over the then countryside area of the capital. The two-story Ahmad Shahi Pavilion is one of the highlights of the complex.


Leave a Comment