(b. 1483, Ghent, d. 1561, Bruges)

Beatty Rosary

c. 1530
Manuscript (W. 99), 124 x 84 mm
Chester Beatty Library, Dublin

This manuscript is a small Book of Hours containing short devotional texts to God, the saints, and the Virgin. The Rosary is a Roman Catholic sacramental and Marian devotion to prayer and the commemoration of Jesus and events of his life. The term "Rosary" is used to describe both a sequence of prayers and a string of prayer beads used to count the prayers.

The Rosary was a very personal way of meditating on the Holy scripture. Since the rise of the Rosary Confraternities in the mid-1470s, it gained huge popularity among the masses and turned into a popular movement within the Church community.

The Rosary in Dublin is of extremely small format and was illustrated around 1530 by Simon Bening in Bruges. It was then sent to Spain, to an unknown Spanish patron. The pictures show episodes from the life of the Virgin as well as Passion scenes which all refer to the mystery of the Rosary.

On the left side of this double page (folios 22v and 23r) the depiction of the Massacre of the Innocents can be seen in the foreground. On a smaller scale in the background the Flight into Egypt is represented.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.