The adornments

The illustrations of the Torriani Book of Hours, which are all intact, consist in thirty illuminations. Twelve are Calendar illustrations. A cycle of eighteen illustrations including scenes taken from the life of Christ presents the Uffici, or Offices. We find twelve illuminated initials and six full-page illuminations recounting the Nativity, David and Goliath, the Flagellation, the Crucifixion, the Resurrection of Christ, and the Burial of Christ.
We note considerable differences in the artistic resources at play in, on the one hand, many of the illuminated initials (in which a sense of preciousness and intricacy prevails) and, on the other, the more markedly dramatic full-page illuminations.

The script

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Script and adornments
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Scene with animals (detail)


The codex’s script consists in Gothic characters. This was the type of script adopted by the copyists and scribes of Northern France in the late eleventh and early twelfth centuries. The script was adopted as a means of reducing the size of the Caroline miniscule, then in use, to provide a form that would enable savings in the parchment used (which was extremely expensive). 
Considering the visual impact of such works, the script conveys the impression of a ‘woven’ fabric. Hence, for many of these characters, the term, Textura, was used. In twelfth- and thirteenth-century Italy, however, these characters were more rounded and more generously proportioned, this script being known as Gothic Rotunda. Gothic Rotunda was in use until the sixteenth century both in statutory writings and votive codices, such as the Torriani Book of Hours.

Pagina con capolettera figurato
Pagina con capolettera figurato


Scena con Flagellazione, particolare
Scena con Flagellazione, particolare