Illuminated Books of the Middle Ages and Renaissance: An Exhibition Held at the Baltimore Museum of Art, January 27-March 13

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CATALOGUE

1.PSALTER Southern England (Canterbury ?), 8th cent.

M. 776. In Latin with Anglo-Saxon and Latin glosses. Insular majuscule script with half-uncial characteristics. 88 vellum leaves, 12 × 9 inches. Ornamental initials to each Psalm; ornamental first line to four of the Psalms. Binding: 18th century calf. Ex-colls.: City of Lincoln (16th-17th century); Sir Richard Ellys of Nocton, Lincolnshire; Marquess of Lothian, Blickling Hall, Norfolk ( Sale, New York, Jan. 27, 1932, no. 1).

Written about the middle of the eighth century in a fine, even, insular script, with characteristic initial ornament of lacertine and interlace motives. The rich black of the ornamented letters is relieved by outlines of red dots and particolored fillings of lavender, orange and green, with a few touches of powder-gold.

The text is that of Jerome's earlier version, known as the Roman Psalter, with some Gallican readings. Only two other eighth-century examples survive. A particularly interesting feature of the present example is the insertion of occasional Anglo-Saxon glosses.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: R. Morris, ed., The Blickling Homilies of the Tenth Century, Early English Text Society, pt. II, 1876, vol. 63, pp. 251-263 (for the Anglo-Saxon glosses of the Blickling Psalter); New Palaeographical Society, London, Series I, London, 1903, ph. 231-2; E. H. Zimmermann, Vorkarolingische Miniaturen, Berlin, 1916, Text, p. 120; p. 273; vol. III, pls. 251; 251; The Pierpont Morgan Library, Review of the Activities and Acquisitions . . . 1930 through 1935, New York, 1937, pp. 15-16, 92; idem, The Bible, New York, 1947, no. 12, pl. III.

LENT BY THE PMIRPONT MORGAN LIBRARY. PL. I


THE FOUR GOSPELS North France, early 9th cent.

M. 23. In Latin. Gold uncial script in double columns. 144 vellum leaves, 14½ × 10½ inches. Binding: English 18th century red morocco. Ex-colls.: King Henry VIII of England, ca. 1528; Bibliotheca Palmeri2na, Chelsea ( 1747); Duke of Hamilton, ms. 167; Hamilton Palace Library, no. 251 ( Sale, London, 1889, no. 1); Theodore Irwin, Oswego, New York.

This codex, written throughout in burnished gold uncial letters upon leaves dyed purple, relies for its splendor solely upon the sumptuousness of its materials and the magnificence of its script and ample format. The pages range in shade from royal purple to tones of blue and of rose-lavender, the opposing pages always being carefully matched in color.

The manuscript has been attributed to various regions of origin, but recent scholarship inclines to locate it in the north of France, and early in the ninth century.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Belle da Costa Greene and Meta P. Harrsen, Exhibition of illuminated Manuscripts . . ., New York, 1934, no. 4; De Ricci, II, p. 1369, no. 23, both listing the extensive previous literature; The Pierpont Morgan Library, Illustrated Catalogue of an Exhibition held on the Occasion of the New York World's Fair, New York, 1940, no. 1; idem, The Bible, New York, 1947, no. 17, colored plate.

LENT By THE PIERPONT MORGAN LIBRARY. FRONTISPIECE

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Illuminated Books of the Middle Ages and Renaissance: An Exhibition Held at the Baltimore Museum of Art, January 27-March 13
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Addenda and Corrigenda to the Catalogue ii
  • Title Page iii
  • List of Lenders v
  • Foreword vii
  • Note to the General Visitor xi
  • Catalogue 1
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