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拍品詳情

音樂藝術、中世紀與文藝復興時期手稿及歐陸古籍

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Beatus leaf from a large Choir Psalter, in Latin
PROBABLY FOR THE USE OF FRANCISCAN OBSERVANTS [ITALY (ABRUZZO, L’AQUILA?), 15TH CENTURY (THIRD QUARTER, AFTER 1456)]
c.580x410mm, single vellum leaf, 12 lines, the recto with music on 4-line staves (rastrum 32mm), the ruled space c.370x260mm, the verso illuminated with a 6-line historiated Beatus initial (c.190x155mm) and a full border incorporating six further saints: in the initial (1) David playing the psaltery and (2) St Francis handing three scrolls to the three Franciscan orders: friars, nuns, and tertiaries; the scrolls are inscribed with an antiphon for the feast of St Francis: ‘Tres ordines hic ordinat …’; to the left of the initial is (3) St Louis of Toulouse with a fleurs-de-lys mantle; below him is (4) a fashionably-dressed young sainted layman with falcon and sword, probably St Julian the Hospitaller; in the lower margin, flanking the ‘Yhs’ abbreviated name of Jesus surrounded by a radiant sun, are: (5) St Anthony of Padua holding a book and a green sprig, (6) St Bernardino of Siena (with his unmistakable facial features) preaching and holding a book inscribed ‘Que sursum sunt querite, non que super terra’ (Seek the things above, not those on earth), (7) John of Capestrano holding a banner and a book inscribed ‘Domine in nomine tuo, inimici …’ (he died in 1456 but was was not canonized before the 17th century, thus his head is surrounded by gold rays unlike the solid gold halo worn by each of the other saints), and (8) St Clare; the text comprising the end of the hymn for Sunday Matins from Trinity Sunday to Advent ‘Nocte surgentes …’ and Psalm 1:1–3; the upper part of King David smudged, some creases and flaking of pigments, especially in the lower left area (where it would have been handled when turning the leaf), the gutter edge somewhat uneven
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Provenance
(1) Probably made for a house of Franciscan Observants, perhaps San Giuliano, the first Franciscan Observant monastery in L’Aquila: this would explain the unusual presence both of St Julian, and of John of Capestrano, who lived there (as did Bernardino). The monastery was very important in the 1450s, and the General Chapter of the Osservanza was held there in 1452. (2) Alan G. Thomas (d.1992), book-seller and -collector: owned by him at least as early as May 1960 when he received a letter about the leaf from the Department of Manuscripts at the British Museum; retained in the family and thus not included in his posthumous sale in these rooms in June 1993.

The iconography of this leaf is exceptionally interesting and unusual. We are grateful to Roberto Cobianchi for his assistance in identifying the saints, and proposing the date and place of origin.

音樂藝術、中世紀與文藝復興時期手稿及歐陸古籍

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倫敦