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2017 Goes Medieval

January 24, 2017

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This month, our Meaningful Moments participants had fun exploring medieval art in the exhibition Art and Nature in the Middle Ages. We were especially impressed by the richly illustrated and intricately detailed pages of the medieval prayerbook, called the Book of Hours.

Calendar page from a Book of Hours: June France c. 1500 Tempera and ink on parchment Overall: 8 3/4 x 6 1/2 in. (22.2 x 16.5 cm) Musée de Cluny, musée national du Moyen Âge, Paris, Cl. 22715 g © RMN-Grand Palais/Art Resource, NY. Photograph: Jean-Gilles Berizzi

Calendar page from a Book of Hours: June
France
c. 1500
Tempera and ink on parchment
Overall: 8 3/4 x 6 1/2 in. (22.2 x 16.5 cm)
Musée de Cluny, musée national du Moyen Âge, Paris, Cl. 22715 g
© RMN-Grand Palais/Art Resource, NY. Photograph: Jean-Gilles Berizzi

The Book of Hours was the bestseller of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, from about 1250 to 1550. The core of the Book of Hours is a set of prayers, called the Office of the Virgin Mary, which are to be recited at home at eight different hours of the day. A calendar typically prefaces each Book of Hours, listing the important feast days throughout the year, and is illustrated with the common activities that characterized each month.

Inspired by Books of Hours, participants returned to the studio to create their own illuminated calendars using watercolor and gold paint. What better way to kick off 2017?

Download a PDF of our medieval style calendar to make your own at home! We printed ours on cream colored paper to mimic the look of parchment, but any 11″x17″ paper will do.

Happy crafting!

Emily Wiskera
Manager of Access Programs

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