Eighteenth-Century German Illuminated Personal Prayer Book
Bett-buch. Worinnen Unterschidliche schönne Gebetter zu finden seindt.
Illuminated manuscript on paper. (BRMS 118)
Personalized devotional manuscripts continued to be produced long after the rise of printing in fifteenth-century Europe. Written in German for an unidentified Catholic woman in 1774, this illuminated prayer book begins with the exhibited morning prayer to the Trinity. It is illustrated with a colorful image of the all-seeing “Eye of Providence,” enclosed within a triangle, a traditional symbol of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. This is followed by a series of prayers for Mass, Confession, and Communion, and devotions to the Trinity, the Virgin Mary and other popular saints, each introduced by a relevant half-page illumination.