A masterpiece of the French Renaissance
Purchased by the royal patron in 1538, King François I’s Book of Hours is a dazzling masterpiece of the French Renaissance. A splendid mix of precious stones, metalwork and illumination, this unprecedented gem-like prayer book bears witness to this flourishing period. Written entirely by hand, with sixteen full-page painted illustrations, it has a sumptuous gold binding adorned with precious stones that is a gem in its own right.
The extraordinary history of this manuscript saw it pass through the hands of François I, Henri IV and Cardinal Mazarin, before it made its way to England in the early 18th century. Today listed in France as a “National Treasure,” it is a work that is unparalleled in French or foreign public collections and is a unique vestige of the House of Valois’ treasures, which were dispersed over the centuries.
The louvre thanks all its donors for their invaluable support!
Thanks to the generosity of 8,500 donors, the musée du Louvre has gathered more than 1,400,000 euros for the acquisition of King François I’s Book of Hours. A tremendous thank you for your outstanding participation that will bring this miraculously preserved jewel back to France.
This new donation campaign has once again demonstrated your strong attachment to our heritage and your commitment to the enrichment of the national collections.
Thank you all!
Le musée du Louvre remercie chaleureusement LVMH / Moët Hennessy . Louis Vuitton pour son mécénat exceptionnel, les 8 500 donateurs de la campagne Tous mécènes !, la Société des Amis du Louvre, les Laboratoires Septodont et leur Président du Conseil de surveillance, Monsieur Henri Schiller et l'entreprise Hugau Gestion pour leur soutien en faveur de l'acquisition et de la valorisation du Livre d'heures de François Ier dans les collections nationales.
Discover this jewel in the “François I and Dutch Art” exhibition, on loan to the Musée du Louvre from October 18, 2017 to January 15, 2018.
It is a work that is unparalleled in French or foreign public collections