In contrast to the exuberance of decoration in northen European Books of Hours, Italian exempla tend to
be somewhat more reserved, ornamenting fewer pages. In KY. III three important sections in the
Book--the Penitential Psalms, the Office of the Dead, and the Office of the Passion--are
provided with full borders; the opening to the Hours of the Virgin doubtlessly was also so decorated but
is now missing. On each folio, a decorated initial is surrounded by borders on the folio's four sides.
Ornament tends to be symmetrical and brilliantly colored, often with considerable suggestion of three-dimensionality.
In each of these folios, the classicizing putti in the lower margins pantomime actions concording with the
sense of the text: putti sleeping next to a skull for the Office of the Dead, towing acanthus garlands in imitation
of figures bearing the dead Christ for the Office of the Passion, and playing instruments in accompaniment to
the incipit of the Penitential Psalms.
Notes from "The Illumined Word." University of Kentucky Art Museum. Catalog, 1983.