Getty Epistles

Object Details

Title:

Getty Epistles

Artist/Maker:

Master of the Getty Epistles (French, active about 1520 - about 1549)

Culture:

French

Place:

France (Place created)

Date:

about 1528–1530

Medium:

Tempera colors and gold paint on parchment bound between pasteboard covered with French seventeenth-century red morocco

Object Number:

Ms. Ludwig I 15

Dimensions:

Leaf: 16.5 × 10.3 cm (6 1/2 × 4 1/16 in.)

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The Epistles or letters of Saint Paul, part of the New Testament, became increasingly popular study texts in the 1500s. Humanist scholars and church reformers read them anew, inspiring luxurious copies such as this French manuscript.

Elaborate borders indebted to both Italian Renaissance and Northern European art surround the manuscript's two full-page miniatures and the two facing text pages. The architectural borders of the miniature pages share many elements with contemporary Italian architecture, both being inspired by ancient Roman buildings. The fruit and flower borders of the text pages, on the other hand, draw on Flemish designs. The layout of the text on the page followed the design used in contemporary Italian printing, and the easily readable humanist script also found its inspiration in Italian manuscripts and printed books. The Master of the Getty Epistles, the leading artist in a workshop that specialized in illuminating devotional books, may have painted this book in the Loire valley.

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Bibliography

Orth, Myra Dickman. Renaissance Manuscripts: The Sixteenth Century. 2 vols. (London/Turnhout: Harvey Miller/Brepols, 2015), pp. 54; 179-182, no. 50.

Orth, Myra Dickman. "Progressive Tendencies in French Manuscript Illumination 1515-1530. Godefroy le Batave and the 1520s Hours Workshop." Ph.D. diss. (Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, 1976), pp. 349-350.

Euw, Anton von, and Joachim M. Plotzek. Die Handschriften der Sammlung Ludwig. 4 vols. (Cologne: Schnütgen-Museum, 1979-1985), vol. 1 (1979), pp. 134-39, figs. 42-45.

Orth, Myra Dickman. Renaissance Painting in Manuscripts: Treasures from the British Library, exh. cat. Thomas Kren, ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1983), p. 191.

"Manuscript Acquisitions: The Ludwig Collection." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 12 (1984), p. 284, no. 17, ill.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 1st ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1986), p. 83, ill.

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Orth, Myra Dickman. "French Renaissance Manuscripts: The 1520s Hours Workshop and the Master of the Getty Epistles." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 16 (1988), pp. 33-60.

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Brown, Michelle P. Understanding Illuminated Manuscripts: A Guide to Technical Terms (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum in association with the British Library, 1994), p. 25 ill.

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Stewart, Garrett. The Look of Reading: Book, Painting, Text (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2006), pp. 34-35, figs. 1.1-1.2.

Kren, Thomas. French Illuminated Manuscripts in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2007), pp. xxvi, 109, ill.

Morrison, Elizabeth. Beasts: Factual & Fantastic (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum; London: The British Library, 2007), pp. 44-45, fig. 33, ill.

Inglis, Erik. Faces of Power & Piety (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum; London: The British Library, 2008), p. 38, fig. 34.

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