This small book of hours, commonly called the Dutuit Hours, after the Dutuit brothers who bequeathed their collections to the City of Paris in 1902, is a manuscript on vellum consisting of 148 pages.

Books of hours were intended for use by rich laypeople, and helped them to say their prayers in accordance with the hour of the day and to follow the sequence of the liturgy throughout the year. It also provided devotional images as meditational aids.

The Dutuit Hours begins with a calendar on twelve pages decorated with scenes linked to seasonal occupations. It also includes 17 miniatures, featured in borders in the form of porticos and which were devoted to subjects from the Old and New Testaments, and finishes with 22 smaller miniatures depicting different saints. The margins of some pages of text are also adorned with flowers, insects and birds on a gold background.

The main illustrator of this work can be identified as a member of the close circle surrounding Noël Bellemare, a master painter in Paris in the late 16th century, who is also thought to have supplied the models for this book of hours, which is very similar to the Heures de Jean de Mauléon kept in Baltimore. The Dutuit Hours belong to a group of manuscripts whose miniaturists worked with a common set of images, making identification and attribution very difficult.

The Dutuit Hours were loaned as part of the exhibition Geoffroy Tory, printer to François 1st, a graphic designer ahead of his time which was held the Musée d'Écouen between 6 April and 4 July 2011: see the note on the manuscript on the website of the Bibliothèque nationale de France.

C. M.

City of Paris municipal collection's website

City of Paris municipal collection's website

The collections portal can be used to search the collections of Paris’s 14 municipal museums (approximately 336,000 works, including 43,000 belonging to the Petit Palais).

It is also possible to download around 12,000 images of the museum’s works free of charge.

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Discover a selection of databases online presenting works from the Petit Palais or documents concerning the history of the museum.