RIT CARY GRAPHIC ARTS COLLECTION
Epistolaries - Illustrations
Illumination of books and manuscripts, Medieval
Ms. This manuscript leaf is part of a collection of medieval manuscript leaves selected to illustrate the art of the manuscript during the period of its greatest development and influence. They have been taken from books written in various European scriptoria by Benedictine, Franciscan, Carthusian, Dominican, and other orders of monks. Many are enriched with handsome borders, initial letters, and line-endings rendered in color, and twenty-five are illuminated with burnished gold or silver. The texts include the Bible, various church service books, the writings of the Church fathers, and some of the Classics.
Written in Rotunda or Round Gothic Script, square rehtorical neumes
Epistolaries are among the rarest of liturgical manuscripts. Their text consists of the Epistles and Gospels with lessons from the Old Testament for particular occasions. Sometimes, as in this leaf, they had interlinear neumes in red to assist the deacon or sub-deacon in chanting parts of this section of the church service while he was standing on the second step in front of the altar. The text is written in well-executed rotunda gothic script with bold Lombardic initials. Some of the filigree decoration which surrounds the initial letters has faded because it was executed in some of the fugitive colors which were then prepared from the juices of such flowers and plants as tumeric, saffron, lilies, and prugnameroli (buckthorn berries). This vellum leaf was created in mid-fifteenth century Italy.
Rochester Institute of Technology - RIT Libraries - Cary Graphic Arts Collection
Ege, Otto F.
Date of Original:
Date of Digitization:
Digital File Format:
Dimensions of Original:
29 x 22 cm
Original Item Location:
PORTFOLIO Box 2-37
RIT Libraries makes materials from its collections available for educational and research purposes pursuant to U.S. Copyright Law. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. It is your responsibility to obtain permission from the copyright holder to publish or reproduce images in print or electronic form.
The manuscript leaves of this collection were accumulated and selected and most of the accompanying information was prepared over a period of forty years by the late Otto F. Ege, Dean of the Cleveland Institute of Art and Lecturer on History of the Book at the School of Library Science, Western Reserve University. Each leaf is matted and accompanying by a descriptive letterpress label.
Epistolary. Fragments. Middle 15th century