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Jean Pichore (active c. 1501-20)

Cardinal York's Book of Hours c.1500

RCIN 1005087

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Bound in pink velvet, with the arms of Cardinal York as Henry IX embroidered on both boards, in silk, gold thread, gilt sequins and knobs, end of the eighteenth century.

This Book of Hours was produced in Paris for a French customer by Jean Pichore, master of a large commercial enterprise that produced a considerable number of illuminated texts, both sacred and secular. He had a brief foray into printing, in partnership with Remy de Laistre (active 1504), adapting his painted miniature designs for the medium of the metal cut; his designs were also used by the Parisian printer/publishers Simon Vostre (active 1490-1521) and Gilles and Germain Hardouin (active c.1500-1540). One of his most important early patrons was Cardinal Georges d’Amboise (1460-1510), Archbishop of Rouen. The Cardinal was an enthusiast of the Italian Renaissance, accumulating a large library of humanist texts, and it may have been he who influenced the classicising elements of the Pichore style.
This manuscript’s original owner has not yet been fully identified, but from a coat of arms that appears in several places in the manuscript (folios 23v, 66v, 77v) we know that he or she was connected with the Francon family from the Dauphiné in the south of France. The manuscript also contains several extra prayers in French, including prayers for the King’s health and a prayer to St Roche (or Rock), popularly connected with Montpellier, but also invoked against the plague.

Catalogue entry adapted from 'The Northern Renaissance. Dürer to Holbein', London 2011.