The Morgan Library and Museum was originally the private library of financier Pierpont Morgan, the father of J.P. Morgan, who gifted the library to the public eleven years after Pierpont died. The elder Morgan concentrated on collecting "illuminated, literary, and historical manuscripts, early printed books, and old master drawings and prints." One of the most famous manuscripts held by the library is the subject of this digital exhibit, The Hours of Catherine of Cleves. The manuscript is a prayer book "containing an unusually rich series of devotions illustrated with especially elaborate suites of miniatures," that was commissioned by Catherine of Cleves (1417-1476). Considered to be the greatest Dutch illuminated manuscript in the world, it is a tremendously impressive work. Visitors should click on the link "See Thumbnails" to look at the thumbnails of the manuscript to take in all the rich colors and to find the well-known illustrations that look like beasts or demons with mouths wide, and people inside those mouths. Listen to three of the prayers from the manuscript, under the "Listen to Prayers" heading on the homepage. An English translation is given along with the original Latin, as well as a brief explanation of the prayer.


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