Dutch manuscripts are fascinating and quite unique within European medieval traditions. In this rather small geographic area above the large rivers Rhine and Meuse, all major towns hosted workshops relishing a great variety of artistic styles. Delft - which later became the town of Jan Vermeer - was a true city of books: while several religious houses were involved in manuscript production, here also the first book in Dutch was printed (1477). Delft illuminated manuscripts stand apart in painting as well as in textual traditions. However, they are relatively rare, since the town was fully destroyed by fire in 1530.
The present Book of Hours offers a unique combination of texts and has a remarkable series of fine miniatures. It was likely made as a memorable gift of Hendrik Pietersz Nagel van Voorhout and Immesoet Duyst for their daughter Adriana when she entered the St. Barbara's convent. Their coats of arms shine on several leaves.