Arenberg Hours

Willem Vrelant , illuminator; and workshop of Willem Vrelant
Flemish, Bruges, early 1460s
Tempera colors, gold leaf, and ink on parchment bound between wood boards covered with purple velvet
10 1/16 x 6 13/16 in.

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This lavish book of hours contains over eighty miniatures, and the texts included in the book indicate that the wealthy patron was almost certainly English. The stiff figures and unusually intense colors identify the artist as Willem Vrelant, who was an active member of the artisans' guild in Bruges. He led one of the top illuminator's workshops in Bruges during the third quarter of the 1400s. At that time, Bruges was one of the leading European centers for production of illuminated manuscripts, especially books of hours. The person who commissioned this book may have been a member of the large community of foreign merchants living in Bruges or was perhaps a patron who lived in England.

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