Hours of Giangaleazzo Visconti

Hours of Giangaleazzo Visconti

Artist Giovannino de’ Grassi

Date ca. 1395

Movement Proto-Renaissance

Medium Tempera and gold on parchment

Dimensions 9.75 x 6.875″

Housed at Banco Rari, Biblioteca Nazionale


Seeking status symbols to convey his power, Giangaleazzo commissioned this Book of Hours, as many of his French relatives had done. David, author of the Psalms and an exemplary role model, is illuminated here, and surrounded by shields bearing serpents—a symbol of the Visconti family. Below is a portrait of Giangaleazzo within a frame of emanating sun rays—another Visconti symbol; he is flanked by elegant and realistic animals, another sign of French influence.