The Walters Art Museum

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Prayers in Code


Saturday, April 25, 2009Sunday, July 19, 2009


10:00 AM–05:00 PM on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday

Prayers in Code

During the late Middle Ages, Books of Hours became common tools for private devotion as well as important status symbols. Carried by fashionable ladies and collected by wealthy bibliophiles, Books of Hours differed greatly in style and ornament but were fairly predictable in terms of the imagery they contained. The manuscripts in this exhibition are exceptions in that they present unusual images that challenge our understanding of the relationship between the words of the prayers and their illustrations. Along with coded prayers, the exhibition also explores patronage at the court of King Francis I (1494-1547), a time when the controversies over humanism, reformation, and orthodoxy shaped the intellectual life of discerning patrons.

A small catalogue accompanies the exhibition.

A symposium will be held in conjunction with this exhibition.