Our Favorite Thing for today is The Hours of Isabella the Catholic, Queen of Spain (1963.256)! 📖 Claudia Haines is a first-year student in the Art History PhD program, studying medieval art under Professor Elina Gertsman.
“Books of hours are often deemed the ‘bestsellers’ of the Middle Ages: these often richly illustrated books contain the series of prayers recited by medieval Christians at various points throughout the day, and were so widely popular that thousands of examples survive to this day, including several now in the collection of The Cleveland Museum of Art. This fifteenth-century book of hours—the Hours of Queen Isabella the Catholic—is a particularly luxurious example, and was made by a Flemish artist for the Queen of Spain. She likely would have used it as part of her private daily devotions.
“Six years ago, as a sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh, I was introduced to books of hours in my very first seminar on medieval history. I fell in love with books of hours and with medieval illuminated manuscripts in general, and my fascination with these objects has carried me through several more years of researching them. The incredible collections of medieval art here in Cleveland, of which Queen Isabella’s hours is only one example, were one of the biggest draws for me in my decision to study at Case Western, and I feel so lucky to be surrounded by such amazing objects every day.”