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les Enluminures

Breviary (use of Mâcon)

In Latin, illuminated manuscript on parchment
France, Burgundy (Mâcon), c. 1450-75 [after 1451]

TM 134

443 ff., preceded and followed by marbled pastedowns and flyleaves, on parchment, lacking certain quires or isolated folios (collation as follows: i6, ii8-1, iii6, iv8-1 [missing folio between ff.21-22], v8-2 [missing folio between ff. 26-27 and 30-31], vi6-2 [missing folio between ff. 31-32], vii8+1 [added f. 40], viii6+1, ix8, x6, xi4, xii missing, xiii8, xiv8, xv6, xvi4, xvii-lviii8, lix missing, lx4), some contemporary foliotation, some prickings still visible, written in a bâtarde script in brown ink, on up to 30 lines with text on two columns (justification 108 x 68 mm), catchwords, ruled in red, rubrics, line-fillers in red and blue, capitals touched in yellow, calendar initials in red and blue, numerous painted initials in red and blue, some calligraphic initials (cadeaux) with anthropomorphic features, 4 decorated initials of burnished gold on blue and pink grounds with white tracery ornamentation, burnished gold ivyleaves and besants on hairline stems extending into the margin (f. 84, 2 initials on f. 89, f. 93v), numerous fifteenth- or sixteenth-century marginal annotations, often liturgical precisions. Bound in a later light brown calf on wooden boards (late sixteenth century?), smooth spine, marbled pastedowns (Some scuffing to boards, spine partially loose, parchment cut with part of text missing (f. 39), top margin of most folios slightly mouse-eaten but with no loss of text. Dimensions 143 x 110 mm.

For the relatively rare use of Mâcon, this Breviary is datable after 1451 because of its inclusion of the double Feast of Saint Anne only instituted by Bishop Etienne Hugonet (1451-71), and it survives as an important witness to manuscript production in the Mâconnais during the fifteenth century, which remains relatively little studied, because the surviving evidence is so slight, in spite of the fact that primary sources reveal the flourishing of specific scriptorium, including the Abbey of Cluny.


1. Breviary made for the use of Mâcon as confirmed by the Dedication of the Cathedral of Saint-Vincent (see Calendar), the rubricated mass for Saint Anne celebrated in the Cathedral of Mâcon (see Sanctoral) as well as the numerous celebrations of Saint Vincent of Saragoza (22 Jan), patron saint of the Cathedral of Mâcon. The masses for Saints Philibert and Maïeul further confirm this localization (for a good list of local saints, see Leroquais, 1935, pp. 6-7). Between 1451 and 1471, Etienne of Hugonet, bishop of Mâcon instituted the double feast of Saint Anne, which thus allows us to date the present Breviary at least after 1451. The number of readings, nine in all, suggests a secular origin for the Breviary.

2. Manuscript owned in the seventeenth century by J.-M. Dumoulin: his name added in the calendar (f. 3).

3. Good example of naïve dating: added text in a late eighteenth-century hand on verso of first flyleaf, reads as follows: “La commémoration des morts célébrée le 2 novembre ayant été instituée en l’an mille et ce jour dans l’almanach ci-contre étant consacré à St-Eustache, il est vraisemblable que le présent psautier est antérieur à l’an mille.”


ff. 1-6v, Calendar, in red and brown inks, for the use of Mâcon with the following saints: Saint Vincent, in red (Vincencii martiris IX lectio, 21 January); Galmier (Baldonerii III lectio, 27 February); Dedication of the Cathedral of Saint-Vincent of Mâcon, in red (Dedicatio ecclesie Matile, here 9 April, usually 10 April); Epidode (Ypodii martiris III lectio, 21 April); Translacio sancti Nicholai IX lectio (9 May); Manerti et Maioli abbatis IX lectio (11 May); Rambert (Ragueb[er]ti m., 13 June); Inventio sancti Vincencii IX lectio, in red (23 September). Most of these saints are not represented in the Sanctoral. On Mâcon saints, as distinguished from other Burgundian dioceses, see Leroquais who points out characteristic Mâcon saints and feasts such as Gérard, bishop of Mâcon (29 May), the Invention of Saint Vincent (23 Sept.) and a martyr named Innocent, unknown in Lyon but celebrated in Mâcon (30 Oct.)(Leroquais, 1935, pp. 6-8);

ff. 7-69v, Psalter: “Psalterium ordinatum secundum hebdomadam…”;

ff. 70-273v, Temporal, with In vigilie nativitas domine (f. 84); De Ascencione (f. 222v); Dominica in mensis septembris (f. 261);

ff. 279-430, Sanctoral, with Die vigilia s. Andree (f. 289); In festivitate s. Nicholai (f. 292); De sancto Vincentio (f. 302v); In oct. s. Vincencii (f. 307v); In dedicatione ecclesie sancti Vincentii (f. 325v); Translacio s. Nycholaei (f. 334v); Maniti atque Maioli (f. 336, 19 May); s. Philiberti abbatis (f. 374); De sancto Vincencio (f. 386v); Invenuit beati Vincentii (f. 387v); Incipit officium beate Anne quod in hunc Matisconensis ecclesia solemniter ad duplex maius celebri instituit reverendus in Christo pater domino sancte Hugoneti matis[conensis] epi[scopi]… (f. 425v; double feast of Saint Anne instituted by Etienne de Hugonet, bishop of Mâcon (1451-1471)). A sixteenth-century hand has added in the upper margin the name “Anna” on ff. 426-429, further stressing the importance of this feast for the diocese of Mâcon.

Formerly the capital of the Mâconnais, the city of Mâcon (Saône-et-Loire) had for many centuries as sole rulers the bishops of Mâcon. The Mâconnais was sold to Saint Louis in 1239, ceded to Phillip of Burgundy in 1435 (Treaty of Arras), and receded to France upon the death of Charles the Bold in 1477. Our manuscript would thus have been copied during this period when Mâcon of passed from Burgundian to French rule in the second half of the fifteenth century. Devasted in 1793, the Cathedral of Mâcon was initially dedicated to Saints Peter and Bartholomew. Childebert subsequently placed the Cathedral under the patronage of Saint Vincent of Saragoza.

Breviaries and Books of Hours for the use of Mâcon are not common. Leroquais records only four Breviaries in French public collections (these four Breviaries contain the Dedicatio ecclesie Matisconensis; see Leroquais, II, pp. 186, 193, 196 and IV, p. 67). The Breviary of Mâcon was first published relatively late: Breviarium ad ritum insignis ecclesie Matisconensis, Lyon, 1521 [see Bohatta, Bibliographie der Breviere, Leipzig, 1937, p. 221).

On the possible place of production of such a manuscript, Leroquais, citing the chronicle of the Abbey of Cluny, discusses the activity of its scriptorium, where production flourished through the fifteenth century when many liturgical books issued from the scriptorium--Breviaries, Missals, Antiphonals, Graduals, and Pontificals (p. 61). Concerning the Book of Hours for the use of Mâcon studied by Leroquais, he assigns it to an “atelier français de la fin du XVe siècle, atelier bourguignon, atelier mâconnais travaillant sous l’influence de Cluny” (1935, p. 61).


Alès, A. Description des livres de liturgie imprimés aux XVe et XVIe siècle de S.A.R. Ch.-Louis de Bourbon, Paris, 1878.

Leroquais, V. Les bréviaires manuscrits des bibliothèques publiques de France, vol. II, Paris, 1934, and vol. IV, Paris, 1934.

Leroquais, V. Un livre d’heures manuscrit à l’usage de Mâcon (Collection Siraudin), Mâcon, 1935.

Pellechet, M. Notice sur les livres liturgiques des diocèses d’Autun, Chalon et Mâcon, Paris, 1883.

Ragut, M.-C. Cartulaire de Saint-Vincent de Mâcon, connu sous le nom de livre enchaîné, publié sous les auspices et aux frais de l’ académie de Mâcon, Mâcon, Emile Protat, 1864.